Congress OKs Sweeping Rewrite of Dodd-Frank

The House voted Tuesday to give final congressional approval to a sweeping rewrite of the nation’s banking rules that would roll back key elements of Dodd-Frank but still leave most of that 2010 law on the books.

The White House said earlier this week that President Donald Trump would sign into law the “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act,” which won House approval 258-159 as 33 Democrats and 225 Republicans voted for the bill. Administration officials say the legislation effectively recalibrates regulation and risk in the financial services sector while promoting economic growth and new jobs.

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The Weekly Hill Update

Below is the Federal Policy team’s weekly preview, published each Monday that Congress is in session.

HEADLINES

• Foreign policy – particularly trade with China and the standoffs with Iran and North Korea – is likely to compete for attention this week among policymakers in the Trump administration and on Capitol Hill. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said trade talks with China are producing tangible benefits, and both countries appear to be backing down from threated tariffs. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in his first major speech since becoming the nation’s top diplomat, will outline the administration’s approach to Iran after the United States withdrew from the multilateral nuclear deal with Iran. President Trump on Tuesday will meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, after a flare-up last week threatened to derail next month’s summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

• The House takes up veterans’ healthcare bills this week in advance of next week’s Memorial Day recess, as GOP House leaders deal with the fallout from Friday, when conservatives sunk a farm bill because of a lack of progress on unrelated immigration legislation. The Senate continues to focus on approving Trump’s nominations.

• Primaries Tuesday in Arkansas, Georgia and Kentucky; primary runoff in Texas.

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Recap: BakerHostetler’s 29th Annual Legislative Seminar

Last week, BakerHostetler hosted more than 300 clients for its two-day annual legislative seminar that featured an impressive lineup of lawmakers from both sides of the aisle who shared policy insights and political predictions.

The 29th Annual Legislative Seminar has become a premier policy showcase in Washington, D.C., allowing clients to listen and interact firsthand with key House members and senators. Led by federal policy team leader Mike Ferguson, the seminar featured a dozen senior lawmakers who shared a range of policy insights and perspectives. Continue Reading

The Weekly Hill Update

Below is the federal policy team’s weekly Washington preview, published each Monday when Congress is in session.

On Thursday, BakerHostetler hosts its 29th Annual Legislative Seminar. Mike Ferguson and the federal policy team will be joined by Senate and House members, from both sides of the aisle, for an intimate discussion about the big issues facing Washington. Hope to see you there.

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Government Contractors Could Benefit if Congress Quickly Finishes Spending Bills – But That’s a Big ‘If’

Republican lawmakers in the coming weeks hope to begin voting on several spending bills as the first step toward avoiding a politically embarrassing budget crisis before this fall’s midterm elections.

For years, Congress’ chronic inability to approve individual spending bills has led to one self-imposed budget crisis after another. House members and senators frequently must vote for temporary, stopgap funding just to keep the government open, or massive omnibus spending bills that run thousands of pages with little scrutiny, even from lawmakers themselves.

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The Weekly Hill Update

Below is the Federal Policy team’s weekly preview, published each Monday that Congress is in session.

HEADLINES

• Foreign policy is likely to lead headlines this week, as President Trump plans to decide whether the U.S. will remain in President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal, and he may also announce specifics on a plan to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un; these developments could postpone a planned speech on prescription drug prices that had already been pushed to this week from late April.
• Congress returns from a weeklong recess, continuing a focus on opioids and judicial nominees.
• Congressional primaries will take place on Tuesday in Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio and West Virginia.

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Congress Unlikely to Approve New Tax Cuts this Year

President Trump and House Republicans are stepping up their calls for an additional round of tax relief this year, but procedural and political roadblocks are likely to thwart the GOP’s election-year tax plans.

The sweeping $1.5 trillion tax cut law Congress enacted last December lowers taxes for both individuals and businesses. But most of the tax benefits for individuals and families – from the new brackets and lower rates to the expanded standard deduction – will expire after 2025 unless Congress votes to renew them.

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