taxes

Grassley: ‘Cadillac’ tax repeal points way to extenders deal
PAYGO rules may no longer be a hindrance, Iowa Republican hints

Senate Finance Chairman Charles E. Grassley sees a way forward on a tax extenders deal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Finance Chairman Charles E. Grassley sees a “little bit of progress” on the tax extenders front in House Democrats’ decision to push repeal of the “Cadillac tax” on high-cost health insurance plans, without offsets for the lost revenue.

The House’s pay-as-you-go rules have been a hindrance for much of the year on moving legislation to extend tax breaks that expired at the end of 2017 and 2018. The most expensive of those is a provision originally authored by Grassley in 2004 to provide a $1 per gallon biodiesel blenders tax credit, which costs about $3 billion a year.

Oil refiners racing Congress to protect butane loophole
Joint Committee on Taxation now estimates 1-year extension of the alternative fuel credits would cost $7.1 billion

House Ways and Means ranking member Kevin Brady, R-Texas, says Congress should leave it to the courts to decide whether refiners should get an alternative fuel tax credit for butane. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

For more than a decade, oil refiners didn’t realize what a moneymaker they had in butane — at least for tax purposes.

They do now.

House to vote on health care ‘Cadillac tax’ repeal
Surcharge on certain high-cost employer health plans was envisioned as a way to pay for Obamacare law

Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn., sponsored the repeal bill, which has been a priority for both the insurance industry and labor unions. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House plans to vote Wednesday on legislation that would roll back the so-called “Cadillac tax” under the 2010 health care law known as Obamacare.

The 40 percent surcharge tax applies to certain high-cost employer health care plans (hence the “Cadillac tax” nickname). It isn’t set to take effect until 2022, and Congress has twice delayed its implementation.

As other Democratic candidates close in on Biden, Trump tries to ‘soften up the front-runner’
President calls former VP a ‘reclamation project’ after sluggish debate performance

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s sluggish performance at last month’s Democratic debate has not escaped President Donald Trump’s notice. (Getty Images file photos/Composition by Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic White House front-runner Joe Biden has slipped in the polls, but President Donald Trump has only intensified his attempts to discredit and disqualify the former vice president.

In the last five days alone, the president has dubbed his potential 2020 rival “sleepy” and “a reclamation project,” suggesting in one tweet that “some things are just not salvageable.” He has asserted that China and other countries are “begging” for a President Biden so they can get back to trade tactics that “ripped us off for years.”

Ross Perot, a consistent and colorful presence at the Capitol
Billionaire political, business iconoclast is dead at 89

Ross Perot speaks against NAFTA with Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., behind him in the House Triangle on Nov. 8, 1993. (Laura Patterson/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ross Perot, the iconoclastic Texas billionaire who died on Tuesday at age 89, was well known for roiling presidential politics in the 1990s. But he was also a consistent and colorful presence on Capitol Hill, advocating for a variety of causes, including veterans affairs, deficits and trade policy.

“NAFTA is like a bad-tasting dog food,” Perot said on the Capitol grounds on Nov. 8, 1993, rattling off just one of the pithy, and head-scratching, Lone Star-fried aphorisms that came to help define the man. His enmity for the North American Free Trade Agreement, which he predicted would give way to a “giant-sucking sound” of jobs to Mexico, would be right at home in today’s political debates on trade, particularly as Congress considers NAFTA’s successor, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

Former Illinois Rep. Bobby Schilling announces he’s running in Iowa
Former congressman moved across the river from his old district in 2017

Former Illinois Rep. Bobby Schilling, who lost to DCCC Chairwoman Cheri Bustos after district lines were redrawn, is running for the seat that Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack is retiring from in Iowa . (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Illinois Rep. Bobby Schilling announced that he’s running for the open seat in Iowa’s 2nd District, across the Mississippi River from his old district.

Iowa Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack announced in April that he would retire at the end of his seventh term next year. The race could be competitive: President Donald Trump carried the district in 2016.

In shift, Trump touts issue not important to his base: the environment
Environmental groups, Democrats not impressed

President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the Williamsport Regional Airport in Montoursville, Pa., on May 20. On Monday, he touted his own environmental record. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Monday pivoted to an issue to which he has devoted little time and tends not to register much with his political base: the environment.

The president said he gave his Cabinet heads early in his term “clear direction to focus on addressing environmental challenges so we can provide the highest quality of life to all Americans.” At the same time he said his administration brought energy-related business back to the United States after the Obama administration “waged a relentless war on American energy.” Under the Obama administration, the United States continued a long trend of making its way to being a total net energy exporter.

Trump suggests ‘this crew’ of 2020 Dems poised to use dirty tricks against him
President revives three-year-old conspiracy theory about 2016 debate mic problem

Then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks as then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump listens during a town hall debate in October 2016 in St Louis. (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)

With a single tweet Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump again harked back to his 2016 election victory and suggested Democrats are poised to use dirty tricks to prevent him from winning again.

The president also used his preferred social media platform to pit Texas against New York over the National Rifle Association — popular among his conservative base — as he and his campaign team try to keep the Lone Star State in his column.

3 ways Trump’s Asia swing — including his North Korea visit — was peak Trump
President’s penchant for the dramatic was on full display

South Koreans at the Seoul railway station on June 30 watch a TV screen depicting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meeting with President Donald Trump at the Demilitarized Zone that separates the two Koreas. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump strode side by side onto North Korean soil Sunday with its hard-line leader, Kim Jong Un, in a moment that was vintage Trump.

From regional airport hangar rallies that start with Air Force One rolling up to classic rock tunes to setting up dramatic Washington cliffhangers, to Trump’s ability to drive — and dominate — news cycles to becoming the first sitting American president to enter North Korea, stagecraft is paramount.

Democrats want to eliminate corporate tax cut but their tax measure avoids it
Democrats have plans for spending money raising corporate rate would bring in, but they’ll go nowhere as long as Trump is in the Oval Office

House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., has not included eliminating the corporate tax cut in current moving legislation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

There’s no lack of plans from Democrats paid for by undoing at least part of the huge 2017 corporate tax rate cut. But the only Democrat with a tax bill currently moving through Congress is pointedly not talking about revisiting the lower 21 percent rate.

The 14 percentage point rate cut in the 2017 law, which is permanent, was projected to save corporations $1.35 trillion over its first 10 years.