Bracewell PRG Post-Election Analysis

My PRG colleagues and I break down the midterm results and what they mean for the policy agenda in the 116th Congress. These materials compliment a full morning-after webinar presentation from the team that can be found here.


Trade Policy
Consumer Product Safety
Congressional Oversight
Financial Services

I authored the tax and financial services sections–click through for the full analysis.

TAXES: Trump Tax Returns, TCJA Oversight, and Repeal & Replace 2.0

By: Liam Donovan

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (2017) is here to stay, but that won’t stop ascendant House Democrats from seeking to repeal and replace the legislation. Meanwhile, oversight of the President’s tax returns could lead to partisan fireworks that color the rest of the agenda.

What Does This Mean For You?

Companies, industries, and the business community as a whole must be prepared to defend the considerable gains achieved in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act—both before Congress and the American people. The prospect of immediate policy changes is mitigated for the time being by the GOP Senate majority and (at least) two more years of a Trump White House. Yet if the law is not broadly seen as popular or effective, retrenchment is just a matter of time. A 21 percent corporate tax rate is only as permanent as the political will to preserve it.

To read our full tax analysis, click here.

FINANCIAL SERVICES: A New Day for Democrats Spurs a Return to Dodd-Frank Priorities

By: Liam Donovan and Paul Maco

House Democrats shift the financial services agenda to aggressive oversight, pumping the brakes on the Trump administration’s deregulatory agenda.

What Does this Mean for You?

Large banks will find themselves the primary focus of increased scrutiny under a Financial Services Committee helmed by Rep. Waters. Nevertheless, the committee is also likely to focus on a suite of issues applicable to a far broader slice of corporate America than the financial services industry itself. Businesses should prepare for incoming scrutiny of corporate governance issues, including executive compensation; ESG practices; and composition of board membership. The two banking committees will also play an active role in any legislative push involving privacy, data security, and protection of consumer information, potentially affecting companies well outside the financial arena.

To read our full financial services analysis, click here.

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National Law Review: House Republicans Seek to Lock In, Expand Tax Cuts With “2.0”

My article in the latest Bracewell Tax Report was cross-posted in the National Law Review:

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) last week released and ultimately approved a long-awaited package of legislation dubbed “Tax Reform 2.0.” The legislative text fleshes out the “listening session framework” put out by the Chairman shortly before the August recess. In concert with committee members and after discussions with rank and file House Republicans, the effort yielded three pieces of legislation: the Protecting Family and Small Business Tax Cuts Act, the Family Savings Act, and the American Innovation Act. The package was marked up in committee on Thursday, and advanced along party lines, setting up possible floor action for the end of the month.

Read the entire piece here.

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Bloomberg Tax: Bipartisan Breakthrough Gives “Orphans” New Life

My Bracewell colleague Vivian Ouyang and I penned an analysis piece in today’s Bloomberg/BNA Daily Tax Report:

Congress last month reached a sweeping two-year budget deal, breaking a months-long legislative logjam and providing a vehicle for a laundry list of non-controversial items that had been captive to the broader standoff over immigration. In addition to establishing higher spending caps for 2018 and 2019 and funding the government for six weeks while a long-term omnibus bill is written, the package included everything from a year-long debt ceiling increase to $89 billion in disaster aid. But it was the tax title that provided the most suspense, as the fate of the so called “orphaned” renewable technologies remained up in the air until the release of the legislative text. In the end, Congress passed, and the President signed into law, a multi-year extension and phase-out of the investment tax credit (ITC) for geothermal heat pumps, fuel cells, small wind, hybrid solar, and combined heat and power systems, while providing a one-year retroactive reprieve for more than 30 other lapsed “extender” provisions.

You can read the full piece here.

A version of this piece originally ran as part of the Bracewell Tax Report, a biweekly publication of brief, timely updates on recent developments in the tax world. To subscribe, click here.

Previous editions of the BTR:

Week of February 26

Liam & Vivian topic: Prepaid Power Contracts

Week of February 12

Liam & Vivian topic: Bipartisan Budget Breakthrough Gives Orphans New Life

Week of January 31

Liam & Vivian topic: After Tax Bill Two-Step, Orphan Hopes Rest on Extenders

Week of January 15

Liam & Vivian topic: Renewable Energy & 100% Bonus Depreciation

Week of January 2

Liam & Vivian topic: TCJA Provisions Affecting the Renewable Energy and Power Industry


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