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Category Archives: Legislation (Federal)

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Recent Treasury and DOJ Marijuana Advisories Likely Not to Result in Increased Activity by Financial Industry

Posted in Colorado, Congress, Legislation (Federal), Legislatures (State)

By David Fine Twenty states and the District of Columbia currently permit the use of medical marijuana; of those, Colorado and Washington recently legalized its recreational use. Colorado has projected $578.1 million a year in combined wholesale and retail marijuana sales yielding $67 million in tax revenues. Yet, the marijuana business is almost exclusively a… Continue Reading

Committee Hearing on TSCA Reform Comes Amid Recent Elk River Chemical Spill

Posted in Congress, Legislation (Federal)

By Bob Matthews and Andrew Shaw Last week, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy held a hearing on possible reforms to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The hearing addressed EPA’s testing and prioritization authority under TSCA Section 4 and information collection authority under TSCA Section 8. In light of the recent… Continue Reading

The Current Bet on Tax Reform in 2013

Posted in Congress, Legislation (Federal), Tax Policy

By Joe Dowley Joe Dowley served as Chief Counsel of the Committee on Ways & Means, U.S. House of Representatives when Congress last undertook fundamental tax reform. On Friday, June 14th  the two tax-writing committee chairmen, Rep. Dave Camp (R-Ill) and Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), are scheduled to have another public session with the press… Continue Reading

Bipartisan Surprise: Senator Frank Lautenberg and Senator David Vitter introduce Bipartisan Bill to Overhaul Toxic Substances Control Act

Posted in Congress, Legislation (Federal)

By Andrew Shaw and Michael Boucher Yesterday, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Senator David Vitter (R-LA), the Ranking Member on the Senate Environment and Public Works (“EPW”) Committee, surprised many by introducing bipartisan legislation – the Chemical Safety Improvement Act – which would reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (“TSCA”). Over the last several years,… Continue Reading

Privacy and Cybersecurity Collide as House Continue to Debate Information Sharing Legislation

Posted in Congress, Cybersecurity, Data Privacy, Legislation (Federal)

By Dan Caprio Yesterday, the White House  issued a Statement of Administration Policy that includes a threat to veto the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (“CISPA” or H.R. 624) unless further changes are made to the bill’s privacy protections to require removal of personal information before cybersecurity data is shared with the government. A… Continue Reading

With Congressional Inertia, President’s Scientific Advisors Offer Proposals for Addressing Climate Change

Posted in Canada-U.S. Relations, Climate, Energy Policy, Legislation (Federal)

By Andrew Shaw On March 22nd, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (“Council”) released recommendations on how the Administration can address climate change in President Obama’s second term. The Council suggested that a carbon tax or cap-and-trade system would be a preferable policy for reducing greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions, but acknowledged that… Continue Reading

Is Arkansas’ Premium Assistance Proposal a Game Changer?

Posted in Governors, Health Policy, Legislation (Federal), Legislatures (State)

By Dennis Smith The news that Arkansas and the Obama Administration have agreed to put the Medicaid expansion population into the health exchange market by using premium assistance has spread to other states like wildfire. The Administration is apparently hopeful that this approach will bring reluctant governors to the expansion table. But details about what… Continue Reading

Elections 2012: MLA’s Campaign Textbook Series

Posted in 2012 Elections, Congress, Legislation (Federal)

By Cindy Gillespie and Eric Tanenblatt This election season, members of our Public Policy and Government Affairs and Political Law practices provided an exclusive look at the 2012 Campaign Trail in a unique call series.     MLA’s Campaign Textbook Series provided a quick and informative way to learn what was really happening behind the scenes in the races this fall. Each… Continue Reading

2012 Congressional Lame Duck Session: Webinar Summary and Recording

Posted in 2012 Elections, Appropriations, Budget, Congress, Legislation (Federal), National Security & Defense, Tax Policy

By Joe Dowley A momentous session of Congress looms ahead… We are carefully watching developments in advance of the elections to gauge likely directions once voters have spoken. There won’t be much time—or open deliberation—once the Lame Duck begins. Most decisions, if there are any, will come as a result of closed door meetings between Congressional leaders… Continue Reading

2012 Congressional Lame Duck Session: Webinar Notice

Posted in 2012 Elections, Budget, Congress, Legislation (Federal), National Security & Defense, Tax Policy

By Joe Dowley With the 2012 Congressional lame duck session fast approaching, there are a number of important issues for which public and private sector actors should be prepared. To help look more deeply into these topics, including a budget overview, sequestration, defense authorization legislation, taxes, and the implications of the Presidential and Senate elections, we… Continue Reading

Will LNG Exports be the Next Divisive Energy Issue?

Posted in Energy Policy, Legislation (Federal)

By Andrew Shaw In 2005, Congress passed the Energy Policy Act of 2005, a piece of legislation intended to streamline the process from approving applications for LNG import terminals. The legislation provided the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) with exclusive authority to approve the construction, expansion, or operation of an LNG terminal. At the time,… Continue Reading

Congress Sends FAA Authorization to President

Posted in Legislation (Federal), Transportation

By Michael Wojnar 1,590 Days and 23 Extensions… No, it’s not a song title from a hit Broadway show; rather, it’s the length of time and effort it took lawmakers on Capitol Hill to complete their work on a long-term extension of the nation’s aviation programs. The House passed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) conference report last… Continue Reading

President Obama Unveils New Small Business “Start-up” Proposals

Posted in Budget, Legislation (Federal), Tax Policy

By Joe Dowley The Administration unveiled new proposals yesterday aimed at encouraging small business “start-ups” that build upon earlier-passed temporary tax breaks. The proposals are an effort to reach out to the part of the business sector which is responsible for “most new jobs” in the economy, according to a White House press release. The… Continue Reading

EPA Defends Controversial Power Plant Regulations

Posted in 2012 Elections, Energy Policy, Legislation (Federal)

By Andrew Shaw Last week, EPA Assistant Administrator Gina McCarthy provided remarks on new Clean Air Act (CAA) rules for utilities at an ICF International breakfast. McCarthy offered a vigorous defense of EPA’s Utility MACT and Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR). Both of these rules face opposition among some in Congress and industry. Last… Continue Reading

2012 Health Policy Outlook: It’s All About 2013

Posted in 2012 Elections, Governors, Health Policy, Legislation (Federal), Legislatures (State)

By Cindy Gillespie and Elizabeth Carpenter If we had to pick a theme for 2012, we’d pick one phrase: ”It’s all about 2013″. Presidential election years always have an enormous impact on Congressional and federal action, but the economic issues and the public’s anti-Congress and anti-Washington sentiment make this an election year where Washington is likely… Continue Reading

Energy Policy: Will 2012 See Any Progress?

Posted in Energy Policy, Legislation (Federal)

By Andrew Shaw The last several years have started with promise for progress on energy policy. In 2009, a new President, who had campaigned on establishing mandatory limits on greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions, was sworn into office. In 2010, the year began with a push by a bipartisan group of Senators, including John Kerry (D-MA),… Continue Reading

2012 Crystal Ball: Can This Congress Accomplish Anything Regarding the Nation’s Debt Crisis?

Posted in 2012 Elections, Budget, Legislation (Federal), Tax Policy

By Joe Dowley Some might argue that it already has. It has put in place a budgetary “sword of Damocles” – a scheduled January 2013, 10-year “sequestration” – $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts largely to defense and other popular discretionary spending. It was passed by this Congress and its existence will dominate all other legislative activities… Continue Reading

Federalism Takes the Stand: A Lay Person’s Guide to Following Health Care Reform’s Supreme Court Challenge (First in a Series)

Posted in Health Policy, Legislation (Federal)

By Cindy Gillespie and with legal counsel provided by Bruce Brown About the Guide:  When the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) agreed to take up the Affordable Care Act (the ACA), the health world was all abuzz – This, we agreed, would be THE story of 2012. As a self-proclaimed health policy expert,… Continue Reading