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 Febuary 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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NY Post: On Gowdy, GOP Malaise, and the Emerging House Exodus

In today’s New York Post I take a look at Trey Gowdy’s sudden retirement and what it says about the state of the House GOP majority:

It’s worth noting that this move comes amid political green shoots for Republicans. After months of increasingly ugly polls, the generic-ballot deficit has stabilized in the mid-single digits, a survivable range for the GOP. Presidential approval, perhaps the best historical barometer for midterm performance, has crept above the 40 percent political “Mendoza” line for the longest period since last September.

And Republicans’ signature legislative achievement has risen in popularity as Americans see the impact of tax cuts in the news and in their paychecks.

Yet the GOP jailbreak continues. The House casualty list stands at 41 and counting.

And whether it’s the breakdown of regular order, the paralytic legislative process, consolidation of power within the leadership ranks or simply a calculated hedge against a rising Democratic tide, congressional chairmen are leaving the People’s House in droves.

So one can easily rationalize Gowdy’s decision, as one could each of the nine outgoing committee chairmen that came before him. Many, including Gowdy, leave behind safe seats, and weren’t responding to direct political threats. Now-former Budget Chairman Diane Black (R-Tenn.) is actually seeking a statewide promotion. And among those who were vulnerable, like Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce, most were term-limited by strict House GOP rules.

In the case of Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen — himself both endangered and unlimited — the gavel may have been stripped even if he had returned. Which is to say each member exits under their own circumstances.

But, while Gowdy’s retirement won’t cost Republicans a seat, it represents the most visible indicator yet that as House control hangs in the balance, those with the most vested interest in holding serve are choosing flight over fight.

Read the full piece here.

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On Russia, Comey and the Ghost of Bombshells Past

Over at Medium I wrote up a tweetstorm on the Russia/Comey imbroglio and why Republicans might be haunted by the Access Hollywood tape and its anticlimactic aftermath.

Surely this was it. The SS Trump had hit an iceberg, and Republicans were scrambling for life jackets. He had survived ugly moments before, but this was different.

Or was it? The ever observant Chris Stirewalt noted the terms in which most of disavowals had been couched. They had left themselves a rhetorical bread crumb trail just in case.

Surely not, I said. There’s no putting the toothpaste back in the tube.

In a way we were both right.

Full post here.

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