On Tuesday, January 3, 2017, Members of the House and the Senate were sworn into office and officially became the 115th Congress of the United States. The Congress wasted no time getting straight to work. The House has already passed legislation to help roll back overreaching, last minute federal regulations. The Senate held a hearing on the Russian hacking situation and began scheduling nomination hearings for President-elect Trump’s cabinet nominees, which will start next week. Washington is back to work; however, the other side of Pennsylvania Avenue is still waiting for its start.
President-elect Trump and his transition team have been hard at work since immediately after the election. There are close to 4,000 political appointment jobs in each presidential administration. Finding qualified people to fill these jobs is an enormous task, but an important one. At noon on January 20th, the keys will be turned over to President-elect Trump and his administration; at that point their policy issues and agenda will come to the forefront.
AIADA is actively working on the issues important to the international nameplate autodealers. Those in the Congressional Republican leadership are making plans with President-elect Trump and his team to set the agenda. Specifically, we want to remind you of an issue we began talking about right before the December break, a major tax reform bill that may be moving quickly. Of particular interest to international nameplate auto dealers is the potential for a border adjustment tax (BAT). Such a tax is actually included in the House Republican proposal currently under discussion. It could add a 20 percent fee to any good or service imported into the United States, including autos and auto parts. AIADA is working hard to make sure the dealer’s voice is heard during this process. Continue to stay tuned for L.A.N. Action Alerts and Notifications.
Speaker Paul D. Ryan swearing in members of the 115th Congress on Tuesday.
Credit: Stephen Crowley (The New York Times)
Now, here’s what YOU AUTO KNOW.
GOP Congress Storms Into Trump Era
Congressional Republicans are returning to Washington on Tuesday with high hopes for a new era under President-elect Donald Trump.
GOP lawmakers are eager to start work on an ambitious legislative agenda after gaining control of both Congress and the White House for the first time in a decade.
Though many congressional Republicans tepidly embraced Trump during the campaign, they’re increasingly optimistic that they’ll be able to work with him to pass big-ticket items like tax reform that have been non-starters during the Obama years.
Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a member of House leadership, said his Republican colleagues were “almost giddy” about the new session that’s beginning.
"[Trump’s] really reached out to Congress in the transition,” he said. “We've got so much more favorable relationship with the new administration. ... We know if we can get things to the president's desk that they'll be signed.”
Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) echoed those remarks, telling a local radio station that Republican lawmakers are “beside ourselves” with excitement.
The era of good feeling is spilling over into the upper chamber, where GOP senators will be responsible for clearing Trump’s Cabinet nominees as well as approving his pick to fill the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s Supreme Court seat.
To read more from The Hill, please click HERE.
Ryan Standing Behind Border Adjustments Amid Industry Criticism
House Speaker Paul Ryan is standing behind a Republican plan to impose a “border adjustable” taxation system, despite a flurry of private sector criticism.
“The speaker is a strong supporter of border adjustability and believes it is a critical component of tax reform,” AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for Ryan, said in a Wednesday email to Morning Consult.
The border adjustable system was unveiled last year as part of a House GOP tax overhaul “blueprint” that’s backed by Ryan. Under the proposed regime, imports would be subject to a tax and exports would be exempt. The aim is to generate revenue to pay for tax cuts while encouraging companies to manufacture inside the United States and export their goods abroad, rather than the other way around.
Strong’s reiteration of Ryan’s position came after the Wisconsin Republican on Wednesday rebuked President-elect Donald Trump’s push for punitive tariffs on U.S. companies that don’t invest domestically. In an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt, Ryan said Congress is “not going to be raising tariffs.” He said tax reform, instead, would create the opportunity to help American businesses stay competitive.
To read more from Morning Consult, please click HERE.
Concerns About the “Border Adjustable” Tax Plan from the House GOP, Part I
The Republicans in the House of Representatives, led by Ways & Means Chairman Kevin Brady and Speaker Paul Ryan, have proposed a “Better Way” tax plan that has many very desirable features.
*Death tax repeal *Depreciation replaced with expensing
*Corporate tax rate dropped to 20 percent *No deduction for state and local taxes
And there are many other provisions that would reduce penalties on work, saving, investment, and entrepreneurship. No, it’s not quite a flat tax, which is the gold standard of tax reform, but it is a very pro-growth initiative worthy of praise.
That being said, there is a feature of the plan that merits closer inspection. The plan would radically change the structure of business taxation by imposing a 20 percent tax on all imports and providing a special exemption for all export-related income. This approach, known as “border adjustability,” is part of the plan to create a “destination-based cash flow tax” (DBCFT).
To read more from Forbes, please click HERE.
House Passes Bill to Overturn 'Midnight' Regulations en Masse
Legislation to allow Congress to repeal in a single vote any rule finalized in the last 60 legislative days of the Obama administration sailed through the House Wednesday, the second time in less than two months.
The GOP-backed Midnight Rule Relief Act, which passed the previous Congress in November, was approved largely along party lines by a vote of 238-184 on the second day of the new Congress, despite Democratic opposition.
If passed by the Senate and signed by President-elect Donald Trump, the legislation would amend the Congressional Review Act to allow lawmakers to bundle together multiple rules and overturn them en masse with a joint resolution of disapproval.
The White House has already threatened to veto the bill if it were to make it to President Obama's desk before he leaves office.
To read more from The Hill, please click HERE.
In Trade and Tax News
Trump's Tariffs Or Tax Reform: Which Will Congress Pick? (CNN Money)
Tax Policy: ‘Border Adjustability’ Is a Looming Risk for Markets (Barrons)
It's a new era for the United States Trade Representative (The Hill)
In Auto News
Toyota Reminds Trump It Has Invested More Than $21 Billion in U.S. Economy (NBC News)
Auto Industry Enjoyed Record Sales in 2016 (AIADA News)
10 Cars People Keep for 10 Years (CBS News)
Members of the House and the Senate take the oath of office as a group in their respective chambers. Afterwards House Members and Senators go for reenactment photos and video; the Senate with Vice President Joe Biden, and the House with Speaker Paul Ryan. Check out the reenactments below.
Biden Being Biden One Last Time (Roll Call)
Paul Ryan on Twitter (@SpeakerRyan)