The IRS and Treasury Department recently proposed regulations on new section 199A, the 20 percent deduction for qualified business income. While the new rules address some issues that arose with the enactment of the deduction, a number of questions still remain.

Check out McGuireWoods’ analysis of the new rules here.

 

The Senate returns Wednesday at noon. Here’s the agenda for the short work week:

Confirmations. The chamber will consider the nominations of Marvin Quattlebaum, Jr. and Julius Ness Richardson to be U.S. circuit judges for the 4th Circuit.

FY 2019 Appropriations. H.R. 6157, the third “minibus” spending package, is expected to hit the floor. The package is expected to include funding for Defense and Labor-HHS-Education.

National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The 2019 NDAA will be signed by the president today in Fort Drum, NY. The $717 billion defense reauthorization measure contains a set of provisions to update operations at the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), strengthening U.S. export controls and subjecting more joint ventures and other transactions to CFIUS review.

Upcoming Hearings

Aug. 16

  • Senate Commerce Committee to hold an oversight hearing to examine the FCC.

Aug. 21

  • Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to hold a hearing to examine the CMS’s efforts to fight Medicaid fraud and overpayments.

Sept. 4

  • Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to kick off hearings for the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Senate Banking Committee is expected to vote on the following nominations on Thursday, Aug. 2:

  • Kathy Kraninger to be director of the CFPB
  • Elad Roisman to be a member of the SEC
  • Kimberly Reed to be president of the Export-Import Bank
  • Michael Bright to be president of the Government National Mortgage Association
  • Rae Oliver to be inspector general, Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Dino Falaschetti to be director of Treasury’s Office of Financial Research

**Update [Aug. 1]: The votes have been postponed until the Senate returns from recess the week of Aug. 13.

The Senate convenes today at 3 p.m. The House is in recess until Sept. 4.

Senate

Vote. The chamber will take a procedural vote today at 5:30 p.m. on the nomination of Britt Grant to be U.S. circuit judge for the 11th Circuit.

FY 2019 Appropriations. Lawmakers will resume consideration of H.R. 6147 (Minibus II), a four-bill spending package that covers Financial Services, Interior-EPA, Transportation-HUD, and Agriculture.

Flood Insurance. The Senate is expected to consider a four-month extension for the National Flood Insurance Program (S. 1182) – authorization is set to expire at the end of July. The measure has already been approved by the House.

Defense Reauthorization. The House-passed conference report for the FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act has landed in the Senate – lawmakers will take up the report this week. Passage is expected.

Key Hearing

Tuesday, 7/31

  • Senate HELP Committee. Hearing to examine ways to reduce healthcare costs, focusing on decreasing administrative spending.

The Charlotte office of McGuireWoods seeks a mid-level staff attorney for the Tax & Employee Benefits Department. Qualified candidates will have experience working with tax-qualified retirement plans, health and welfare benefits and executive compensation. Please submit cover letter, resume and law school transcript. Disclaimer: At this time, McGuireWoods will not be accepting applicants submitted through search firms or headhunters for this position. All qualified candidates must submit their own applications for consideration. Please reference Req #1332. Apply using the following link –   https://lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_app_frm.aspx?lawfirm=97&id=0

The Charlotte office of McGuireWoods seeks an associate or counsel for the Tax & Employee Benefits Department.  Qualified candidates will have at least 5 – 6 years of experience working with tax-qualified retirement plans, health and welfare benefits and executive compensation.  Experience with executive compensation securities disclosure rules, ERISA plan-asset regulations in connection with fund formation and/or employee benefits matters relating to corporate transactions a plus.  Excellent academic credentials are required. Please submit cover letter, resume and law school transcript. Disclaimer: At this time, McGuireWoods will not be accepting applicants submitted through search firms or headhunters for this position. All qualified candidates must submit their own applications for consideration. Please reference Req #1331. Apply using the following link –   https://lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_app_frm.aspx?lawfirm=97&id=0

 

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady has just released a two-page framework for Tax Cuts 2.0. As expected, the outline contains little policy specifics but highlights three major themes for the upcoming bill:

  1. Protect middle-class and small business tax cuts by making them permanent
  2. Promote family savings by making it easier for individuals to save for retirement, education, and other expenses.
  3. Spur new business innovation by reducing start-up costs and removing barriers to growth

The committee is expected to introduce legislative text and hold a markup after the August recess. The goal is to get the bill to the House floor in September.

It looks like Tax Cuts 2.0 will incorporate a part of the Senate’s Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act  or RESA (S. 2526) — which, among other things, would make it easier for small businesses to join multiple employer plans; encourage workers to save for retirement; and provide a safe harbor for employers offering annuities. A staffer on the Ways and Means Committee recently assured that the retirement section of the package would not include “Rothification.”

Unlike Tax Cuts 2.0, RESA has strong bipartisan support in the upper chamber. Senate Finance Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) would like to see it enacted as a standalone bill this year, but it’s unclear whether lawmakers would get the floor time needed to pass the bill.

Interestingly, Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Todd Young (R-IN) introduced their own retirement related measures last week — some of which are reflected in RESA:

  • S. 3218 – the Strengthening Financial Security Through Short-Term Savings Accounts Act would help employers to set up “rainy day” savings accounts for workers.
  • S. 3219 – the Small Business Employees Retirement Enhancement Act would make it easier for small businesses to join multiple employer plans.
  • S.3220 – the Refund to Rainy Day Savings Act would allow taxpayers to put away 20 percent of their tax refunds into a Refund Rainy Day Fund.
  • S. 3221 – the Retirement Security Flexibility Act would encourage plan sponsors to use automatic enrollment and automatic escalation.

It remains to be seen whether the bill introductions are any indication of future Senate action on retirement — there appears to be a flicker of momentum to get a retirement package done this year.