Administration Indicates Turn to Tax Reform after Healthcare Fails, Potentially Moving Up Focus on Infrastructure
The Trump Administration has indicated it will now turn to a comprehensive tax reform effort, as the House Republican’s healthcare reform proposal failed last week. The high-profile American Health Care Act (AHCA) failure showed starkly the divisions within the Republican Caucus in the House that may increase the difficulty of passing the Administration’s other priorities, including comprehensive tax reform legislation and a large-scale infrastructure package. However, the end of this healthcare reform effort seems to have moved up the timing of the tax reform and infrastructure measures.
While the Administration has provided few details on its expected large-scale infrastructure package, the most likely legislation to carry revenues needed to pay for the legislation would be comprehensive tax reform. President Trump has recently signaled his willingness to partly fund infrastructure investment through a repatriation tax holiday whereby earnings held abroad by U.S. companies would be taxed at a lower rate when brought back to the U.S. during the period of the tax holiday.
Senate Commerce Committee to Hold Hearing on Transportation Deputy Secretary Nominee
On Wednesday, March 29, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee has scheduled a confirmation hearing on the nomination of Jeffrey A. Rosen to be Deputy Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). Mr. Rosen previously served as general counsel at DOT during the George W. Bush Administration from 2003 to 2006 and at the Office of Management and Budget from 2006 to 2009. As Deputy Secretary, Mr. Rosen will be responsible for day-to-day operation of DOT. Mr. Rosen has been a proponent of “regulatory budgeting,” which advocates limiting the total regulatory cost an agency can impose on an industry.
This Week’s Hearings:
- On Tuesday, March 28, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment has scheduled a hearing titled “Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America: Revitalizing American Communities through the Brownfields Program.” The witnesses will be:
- The Honorable J. Christian Bollwage, Mayor, City of Elizabeth, New Jersey (on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Mayors);
- The Honorable Deborah Robertson, Mayor, City of Rialto, California;
- The Honorable Matt Zone, Councilmember City of Cleveland, Ohio (on behalf of the National League of Cities);
- The Honorable John Dailey, Commissioner, Leon County, Florida (on behalf of the National Association of Counties);
- Amanda W. LeFevre, Outreach and Education Coordinator, Kentucky Brownfield Redevelopment Program, (on behalf of the Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials); and
- Jonathan Philips, Managing Director, Anka Funds, LLC.
- On Tuesday, March 28, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection has scheduled a hearing titled “Self-Driving Cars: Levels of Automation.” The witnesses will be announced.
- On Tuesday, March 28, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight Investigations has scheduled a hearing titled “Oversight Hearing on ESA Consultation Impediments to Economic and Infrastructure Development.” The witnesses will be announced.
- On Tuesday, March 28, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has scheduled “A Legislative Hearing on S. 518, a bill to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to provide for technical assistance for small treatment works, S. 692, the Water Infrastructure Flexibility Act of 2017 and S. 675, the Long Island Sound Restoration and Stewardship Act.” The witnesses will be announced.
- On Wednesday, March 29, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee has scheduled a hearing titled “Closing the Skills Gap and Boosting U.S. Competitiveness.” The witnesses will be:
- Mr. John Ratzenberger, Actor, Director, Founder of the American Museum of Manufacturing;
- Mr. Rory DeJohn, Senior Vice President, Turner Construction Company;
- Colonel Michael Cartney (USAF, retired), President, Lake Area Technical Institute;
- Mr. Jay Neely, Vice President of Law and Public Affairs, Gulfstream Aerospace; and
- Ms. Judith Marks, Chief Executive Officer, Siemens USA.
- On Wednesday, March 29, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee has scheduled a confirmation hearing on the expected nomination of Jeffrey A. Rosen, of Virginia, to be Deputy Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation.
- On Wednesday, March 29, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology has scheduled a hearing titled “Realizing Nationwide Next-Generation 911.” The witnesses will be announced.
- On Wednesday, March 29, the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations has scheduled a hearing titled “WMATA After Safetrack.” The witnesses will be announced.
- On Wednesday, March 29, the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications and House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces have scheduled a joint hearing titled “Threats to Space Assets and Implications for Homeland Security.” The witnesses will be:
- Admiral Thad Allen, Member, GPS Advisory Board, Former Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard;
- The Honorable Joseph Nimmich, Former Deputy Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency; and
- General William Shelton, Former Commander, U.S. Air Force Space Command.
- On Thursday, March 30, the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness has scheduled a hearing titled “The Current State of U.S. Transportation Command.” The witness will be:
- General Darren W. McDew, USAF, Commander, U.S. Transportation Command.