Capitol Hill Update, 9 February, 2015

Capitol Hill Update, 9 February, 2015

House & Senate/Schedule: Both chambers are in town for this week, and both will recess all of next week for Presidents’ Day.

House/Energy: On Wednesday the House will vote on S. 1, the Senate-passed bill to authorize the Keystone XL pipeline project, a bill that President Obama continues to insist that he will veto. Keystone XL has become a sort of avatar for the Obama Administration’s steadfast hostility towards energy production, so his veto threat is no surprise.

House/Taxes: On Thursday and Friday, the House will vote on two bills to permanently revive and extend a number of tax code provisions that had been allowed to expire next year.

  • The first, H.R. 644, the “Fighting Hunger Incentive Act,” would make permanent a number of tax deductions related to charitable donations.
  • The second, H.R. 636, the “America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act,” would make permanent several expired tax provisions that allow small businesses to deduct more of their property and asset costs.

It is noteworthy that both of these bills extend these tax provisions permanently, allowing individuals to better plan ahead for their investments, as opposed to the one-year extensions that Congress has been offering for years.

Executive/Internet Regulation: Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a proposed rule that would allow the FCC to regulate internet providers as if they were a public utility. The FCC will almost certainly vote on February 26th to institute this new regulation, which poses a profound danger to a truly free and open internet. Read more about why the FCC shouldn’t be allowed to regulate the internet HERE.