The Riso Report, by Mark Riso, VP of Government Relations, PHCC National

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Riso Report

Who will control Congress …and what does that mean for you?

By Mark Riso, VP of Legislative Affairs

With all eyes focused on the general election next week, we need to understand the impact Nov. 8 will have not just on who controls the House and Senate moving forward but on what the 114th Congress considers for the remainder of the year. In the time they have remaining, will they put their foot on the gas or take it off and cruise?

Congress returns the week of Nov. 14 for what historically is a very calm remainder to a congressional cycle. This year, however, the typical lame duck session will not be so lame.

There are several issues on Congress’s plate that need to be resolved by year’s end; first and foremost, Congress must pass a budget by Dec. 9 or the federal government will face another shutdown. Although there is little to no chance of a shutdown, many issues come into play as a result of budget talks. Congress has two options:

Pass another Continuing Resolution, a stop-gap budget held at current funding levels for a short amount of time (used to simply keep the government open). If this option is chosen, any current issues become mute. Or, Pass an Omnibus budget, a more comprehensive budget that will allow for higher spending and added programs. If this option is chosen, PHCC has several issues at play, including:

  1. An initiative to extend a 30-percent tax credit for geothermal heat pumps (the credit is set to expire at the end of this year).
  2. An effort to reauthorize the Perkins Act in the Senate. (The House has already passed the reauthorization.)
  3. An initiative to extend Section 179D of the IRS code (allowing tax deductions for buildings using energy-efficient equipment), set to expire at the end of this year.
  4. An initiative in the Senate to delay the Dept. of Labor’s new Overtime Rule. (The House passed a delay.)
  5. A provision within the energy bill dealing with the Furnace Rule (to delay its implementation).
  6. The potential of congressional efforts to halt an IRS initiative intended to dismiss two valuation discounts that are important to family-held businesses.

Clearly, the results of next week’s election will directly impact what Congress does – or doesn’t do – by the end of this lame duck session.

To protect your interests, PHCC strongly urges you to be informed, be aware, and be on the lookout for legislative action alerts from PHCC—National. We’re working on your behalf and often need your voice … sometimes with very limited response times!

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