Legislative Activity

Lawmakers Consider Energy Tax Reform

On Wednesday, September 17, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing titled “Reforming America’s Outdated Energy Tax Code.” During the hearing, discussion centered on how to best address certain energy-related provisions within the U.S. Tax Code. Lawmakers discussed taking a technology neutral, “performance-based” approach, rather than considering the type of fuel at issue. Additionally, lawmakers agreed on a bipartisan basis regarding the urgent need to finalize a tax extenders package. The hearing also focused on the benefits of “straight expensing,” the need to continue allowing a deduction for intangible drilling costs, and the importance of implementing “market-oriented” policy changes to spur American energy production.

Members Release Additional Anti-Inversion Proposals

While Congress has yet to pass inversion legislation, anti-inversion legislative proposals continue to make headlines, with the most recent proposal released on Friday, September 19 by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Dick Durbin (D-IL).

Regulatory Activity

Administration to Act on Inversions ‘Very, Very Soon’

On September 21, following the G-20 meeting, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew reemphasized that “there is one loophole that should be shut down immediately—inversions.” Secretary Lew, who has recently placed companies “on notice” that the Administration plans to take action on inversions “very, very soon,” acknowledged that because “the pace of these deals [is] on the rise and [there is] no clear sign of when Congress will have legislation in place, Treasury is completing its work on administrative action to use our existing authority to limit the economic benefits of inversions.”  However, as he has previously indicated, “Administrative action cannot shut the door completely, and Congress will still need to act.”  While various legislative proposals continue to be introduced, it is unclear when and how Congress plans to act on inversions.