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Posts Tagged ‘White House’

Tax reform progressing in spite of fiscal gridlock

March 11th, 2013

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President Obama and his Republican dining companions showed last week that bipartisan schmoozing is back. Whether bipartisan deal-making will follow is anyone’s guess. But if it does, there are reasons to believe tax reform will be on the menu.

The most visible movement on tax reform is in the House of Representatives. Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) last week announced that the bill name “H.R. 1” would be reserved for tax reform. Traditionally, House speakers have given that title to bills that are among their top priorities. Consider some of the recent bills with that name: the stimulus package of 2009 and the Medicare prescription drug law of 2003.

The H.R. 1 designation signals the end of an internal Republican dispute over whether to proceed with tax reform. Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-OH) previously advised the party to avoid the issue, because its progress could require votes on controversial topics like the mortgage and charitable deductions. But now, with Boehner’s blessing, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) has a green light to pursue his priority issue.

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Ready-to-Tweet: Recent Actions to Reduce the Burden of Gas Prices

March 15th, 2012

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Increasingly, important and complicated policy debates in Washington are being reduced to sound bites or even tweets. The debate over skyrocketing gas prices is no exception. As we outlined in a recent memo, there is not much that can be done to reduce the immediate impact of high gas prices. There is, however, a lot that can be done to kick the oil habit once and for all over the long-term. We’ve included a list of steps the government has taken over the last three years below, in a handy Tweet-able format.

Kicking the Oil Habit with Alternative Fuels

The US SuperTruck program will save trucks $15,000 in fuel costs every year http://tinyurl.com/7j4vesb

Increased tax breaks to families and companies that buy alternative fuel vehicles up to $10000 from last year’s $7500 http://tiny.cc/min4aw

Feds getting off of oil: By 2015, 100% of government vehicles to run on alternative fuels http://tiny.cc/3en4aw

Save money at the pump, go electric: Feds and private sector to develop car battery that’s ½ price, 300 miles/charge http://tiny.cc/cln4aw

4 commercial biorefineries are 1 year ahead of schedule. Will produce nearly 100 million gallons of biofuels/year http://tinyurl.com/8xkhu52

Recovery Act grant recipients purchased 1,286 buses and vans powered by clean tech like biodiesel and natural gas http://tiny.cc/0qn4aw

Increasing Domestic Oil and Gas Production

Domestic oil production has increased every year President Obama has been in office http://tinyurl.com/7reblq8

Since 2009, the United States has been the world’s leading producer of natural gas http://tiny.cc/u1n4aw

Currently, the U.S. has a record number of oil and gas rigs operating – more than the rest of the world combined http://tiny.cc/p9n4aw

We have already cut net imports of oil and gas by ten percent – 1 million barrels a day – in the last year alone http://tinyurl.com/8ywheaw

Last year the US was a net exporter of refined petroleum products for the first time in sixty years http://tiny.cc/jco4aw

In 2008, US imported 11 million barrels of oil/day. By end of last year, that number fell to 8.4 million barrels/day http://tiny.cc/oeo4aw

Natural Gas STAR Program encourages companies to adopt safe practices and technologies to reduce methane emissions http://tiny.cc/kjo4aw

Natural Gas STAR partners reported domestic emissions reductions of 86 Bcf, worth over $421 million, in 2009 http://tinyurl.com/2bnwwk

Rapid development of oil and gas spurred by shorter lease terms http://tinyurl.com/6rj73so

The Administration has tied lease-extensions for oil and gas to lessee investment in exploration and development http://tinyurl.com/5ubvep8

New Admin proposal would reward rapid development of oil and natural gas through new royalty structures http://tinyurl.com/769qbup

Increasing Fuel Efficiency

Higher fuel standards mean filling up less often – by middle of next decade cars will average almost 55 miles/gallon http://tiny.cc/lno4aw

The Obama Administration has put in place the first-ever fuel economy standards for heavy-duty trucks http://tiny.cc/mqo4aw

New CAFE standards for passenger vehicles will save drivers more than $8000 in fuel costs http://tiny.cc/iso4aw

Heavy duty fuel economy standards will reduce oil consumption by over 500 million barrels http://tiny.cc/ruo4aw

GOP acts out revenge fantasy

February 22nd, 2011

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This piece was originally published in Politico.

The orgy of budget cutting on the House floor last week was not about the deficit. It was about ideology.

The House Republican majority acted out a revenge fantasy against President Barack Obama and the Democrats in retaliation for what they see as the left-wing ideological aggression of the last two years. They are the counterrevolution.

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Bush tax cuts reverse party lines

August 24th, 2010

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This piece was originally published in Politico.

The next big issue on the congressional agenda is a real humdinger: the Bush tax cuts.

This is one issue on which Republicans can’t “just say no.” If Congress fails to act by the end of the year, the Bush tax cuts will expire. And Republicans will have enabled a major tax hike.
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The Danger Of Compromise On Health Care

February 20th, 2010

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This piece was originally published in National Journal.

Republicans know one big thing about health care reform: Helping to derail President Clinton’s reform plan in 1994 did wonders for them politically.

Actually, they know another big thing as well: For the past year, they have resisted President Obama’s health care reform plan, and once again things seem to be working out well for them politically. The evidence is the outcome of the statewide elections in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. So what if Democrats call Republicans the “Party of No”? “No” seems to be what voters want to hear.

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