The Emergency Road Service Coalition of America (ERSCA) has hired the federal lobbyist team at Lobbyit to focus on Congressional outreach in order to ensure ERSCA’s interests are known and accounted for during ongoing negotiations on federal legislation and regulations, including the proposed Van Hollen amendment that would allow states to regulate all aspects of towing.
Work On The Hill
This month ERSCA’s federal lobbyists began an aggressive outreach campaign on the Hill targeting members of highway subcommittees in the House and Senate. The goal of the meetings has been to introduce ERSCA to influential and relevant Members and promote ERSCA policies. The meetings were all incredibly positive and so far in the month of October have included:
Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND): Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure (Ranking Member); and
Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL): House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Highways and Transit (Ranking Member)
We have additional scheduled meetings over the coming weeks with committee members and will provide further updates as warranted.
Infrastructure Bill Update
Close to midnight on November 5, after months of negotiations, the House passed the $1 trillion-plus bipartisan infrastructure bill. The vote was 228-206 with 13 Republicans crossing the aisle to vote with Democrats. ERSCA is proud to report that the Van Hollen amendment was not included in this final Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) bill. Lobbyit understood this was a priority for ERSCA members and its work helped ensure the amendment was not included. President Biden signed the bill on November 15th.
The bipartisan measure — which passed the Senate back in August by a 69-30 after months of negotiations — will fund an historic investment in the nation’s roads, bridges, airports, railroads and other aging infrastructure. The bipartisan infrastructure legislation will provide $973 billion over five years from FY 2022 through FY 2026, including $550 billion in new investments for all modes of transportation, water, power and energy, environmental remediation, public lands, broadband and resilience.
The topline numbers for the infrastructure bill are:
Transportation: $284 billion
Water: $55 billion
Broadband: $65 billion
Energy & Power: $73 billion
Environmental remediation: $21 billion
Western water infrastructure: $8.3 billion
Resiliency: $46 billion
What’s Coming Next: Build Back Better Bill & Reconciliation
Now that the bipartisan IIJA has been signed by President Biden, the focus turns to the Build Back Better bill and the reconciliation process. Lobbyit has been monitoring the reconciliation bill for possible amendments, similar or identical to the Van Hollen amendment.
The week of October 25th both the White House and House Democrats released similar frameworks for the reconciliation bill but negotiations on a final framework continue. At this point, progress in negotiations has still not been convincing enough to overcome objections on items such as paid family leave from Senate Moderates, like Senator Joe Manchin. The biggest sticking points have been focused on the state and local tax deduction, climate change provisions, paid family leave, prescription drug pricing, and immigration. While Speaker Pelosi continued to push committee chairs to release legislative text and prepare to bring both the bipartisan Senate Infrastructure Deal and the reconciliation bill to the floor, many lawmakers believe the debate could drag into December.
On November 4, House Democrats added their manager’s amendment to the reconciliation bill, which did not include any language similar to the Van Hollen amendment. Lobbyit will continue monitoring as the reconciliation bill advances next to the Senate.
On November 5, progressives agreed to vote on the infrastructure bill before the reconciliation package in exchange for a commitment from five centrist Democrats that they would vote for the reconciliation package as soon as they get the CBO score but in no event later than the week of November 15th.
The reconciliation bill will be dramatically larger, and we’ll continue to monitor as the committees use their budget resolution instructions to piece together this bill. Below are the key tax provisions currently being contemplated within the bill:
The revised reconciliation bill’s significant business and international provisions include:
A new 15% corporate profits minimum tax on large corporations; and
A new 1% tax on corporate stock repurchases, limitations on interest deductions of international financial reporting groups, modifications to inbound and outbound international provisions.
Individual tax increase provisions in the revised bill include:
A surtax on individual income above $10 million a year;
Expansion of the net investment income tax; and
Limitations on qualified small business stock exclusions, wash sale rules on cryptocurrency, and continuation of a temporary current-law limitation on excess business losses.
The revised bill also DROPS key tax rate increase provisions of the Ways and Means bill, including proposals that called for:
A 26.5% top corporate income tax rate;
A 39.6% top individual income tax rate;
A new 25% long-term capital gains and qualified dividend tax rate;
(Carried interest) the 20% Section 199A deduction for pass-through income; and
The estate and gift tax exemption, grantor trusts, and retirement savings accounts.
On behalf of ERSCA, Lobbyit has engaged with relevant Senate offices to continue to reinforce support for ERSCA’s policy goals throughout the infrastructure negotiations.
Lobbyit will continue outreach to Senate offices to ensure ERSCA-friendly provisions remain in the Build Back Better bill.