DC Digest – April 4, 2017

In Today’s Issue:
  • Budget Expectations & Deadline
  • Tax Reform
  • Duke in DC New Office


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Fox News Sunday he’s “very confident” the federal government won’t shut down this month. The majority leader praised the bipartisan work of both the House and Senate appropriations committees, and said he’s been talking to Senate Democrats about meeting that 60-vote threshold.

“I think we’re going to be able to work all this out later this month,” he said.

Very Confident

Omnibus Crash & Continuing Disillusion 

With the White House’s proposed domestic discretionary spending cuts and increased military supplemental request — as well as conservative calls to defund certain government programs and moderates’ call for a bill entailing none of the above, it is becoming increasingly difficult for lawmakers to assemble a comprehensive omnibus funding bill. The current Continuing Resolution (CR) funds the government through April 28th. In the absence of a new funding bill, the government will shut down.

Despite the promise of a large military build-up, the Pentagon has engaged in a coordinated effort to advise Congress away from pursuing another Continuing Resolution. Army, Navy, and Air Force leaders said that under another CR they’d have to curtail a host of operations and programs, including putting off training, reducing flight hours and canceling ship deployments.

ACA Half-Life

Several prominent conservative Republicans are revamping ACA repeal chatter. Yesterday, April 3, the Freedom Caucus was in talks with Trump administration officials about changes to the House GOP American Healthcare Act (AHCA) that might get them to a “yes.” Speaker Ryan pulled the AHCA from a floor vote just over a week ago.
POLITICO is reporting that as the White House works with House conservatives to refashion the failed healthcare bill for another go-round, other senior Republicans are skeptical  this bill will get off the ground because concessions made to members of the Freedom Caucus are likely to alienate moderate Republicans.
Here is what we know so far:

AHCA in Flux


Trump floated many tax ideas during his presidential campaign. As the administration works to sort priorities for the rest of the legislative calendar, tax reform is likely to head the top of the list. The following is a brief collection of his transition team’s general ideas for tax reform.

On the individual side of the tax code:

  • Collapsing the code’s seven brackets to three brackets of 12 percent, 25 percent, and 33 percent
  • Keeping the capital gains rates as are
  • Repealing the estate tax
  • Capping itemized deductions at $200,000 for married couples who filed jointly, $100,000 for single people
  • Increasing the standard deduction for joint filers to $30,000 and for single filers to $15,000, eliminating personal exemptions and the head-of-household status for filing.

On the corporate side:

  • Lower the corporate rate from 35 to 15 percent for all types of businesses and eliminate the corporate alternative minimum tax.
  • Repatriate corporate profits at a one-time rate of 10 percent.
  • Scrap most corporate tax expenditures, apart from the research and development credit
  • Boost U.S. manufacturers by allowing them to expense capital investment. (although they would lose the deductibility of corporate interest expense.)

First daughter’s fingerprints:

  • Making childcare costs deductible based on the average cost of care in the state where an individual or couple lives. It would phase out for individuals earning more than $250,000 or couples who earn more than $500,000.
  • A new savings account for childcare, school tuition, or expenses for elderly parents, giving a 50 percent government match for contributions up to $1,000.
  • For lower-income families, the plan would offer relief via a $1,200 child care tax credit through the earned income tax credit.


Duke in DC recently completed its move into a brand new, 15,000 square foot space at 1201 Pennsylvania Aveneue! Tour Duke’s newest home base and learn more about our mission in the nation’s capital :