Legislative Activity

House to Take Up Short-Term Highway Extension as Lawmakers Work on Tax Title for Longer-Term Bill

This week, House lawmakers are set to take up a short-term extension of the Highway Trust Fund, extending the program’s authorization through November 20 in hopes that the House and Senate can come together on a longer-term solution to highway funding. As reported last week, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has released and marked-up a six-year, $325 billion highway funding bill (the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015). The House Ways and Means Committee will now be tasked with drafting legislation to find approximately $35 billion in new offsets over the first three years to help cover the cost ($157.8 billion) of transportation funding during that same period. The timing of such legislation, however, remains uncertain, as the House Ways and Means Committee is soon likely to undergo a leadership change with Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) expected to be elected as Speaker of the House this week.

Relatedly, once Chairman Ryan is elected Speaker, which we expect will occur on Thursday, October 29, it is likely that Representatives Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Pat Tiberi (R-OH) will be the main contenders to take over the Ways and Means Committee Chairmanship.

Once the House does finalize its version of a long-term highway bill, it will have to find common ground with the Senate, which passed a long-term highway funding bill – H.R. 22, the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act of 2015 – earlier this year.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Tuesday, October 27: The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing titled “The Internal Revenues Service’s Response to Committee Recommendations Contained in its August 5, 2015 Report.”
  • Thursday, October 29: The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing titled “Welfare and Poverty in America.”

Regulatory Activity

IRS to Hold Hearings on PTPs, Arbitrage Restrictions

On Tuesday, October 27, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will hold a public meeting on proposed regulations relating to qualifying income from activities of publicly traded partnerships with respect to minerals or natural resources. The following day on Wednesday, October 28, the IRS will hold a public meeting on a proposed rulemaking that provides a revised definition of issue price for purposes of arbitrage restrictions as it affects issuers of tax-exempt and other tax-advantaged bonds.