Upcoming Tax and Financial Services Week, April 25 | Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

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Introduction

The House and Senate will meet again Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. and Monday at 3:00 p.m., respectively.

What to watch

Both chambers return today from their two-week district work stint and are then scheduled to leave Washington on May 27 for Memorial Day. Until then, the Congress will focus on the following issues:

  • Additional Ukraine. President Biden announced last week that the United States would send an additional $800 million in military aid to Ukraine. He is expected to ask Congress for additional funds “to support Ukraine throughout this fight” and “to keep the flow of arms and ammunition uninterrupted.” Some lawmakers want to act quickly on this next package, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who said through a spokesperson that she wants to accept the package “as soon as we can.” However, there is “no specific timetable for a floor vote” as of last week.
  • COVID-19 support. Republicans and moderate Democrats reached an agreement on a $10 billion aid package before the break. It contains funds for tests, treatments and therapeutics. However, the package was stalled due to Republican opposition to immigration policy concerns. Lawmakers will try to overcome those concerns and move the legislation forward this week.
  • Competitiveness Package Conference. Prior to the break, both parties in the House and Senate appointed negotiators for the conference process to reconcile the difference between the America COMPETES Act passed by the House and the US Innovation and Competition Act passed by the Senate. However, the conference has yet to officially begin, as the Senate has yet to take a procedural vote to officially launch the group. That should happen as soon as this week, after which Congress staff and participants will negotiate the final package over the coming weeks and potentially months. A list of speakers, broken down by committee assignments, and a general inventory, can be found here.

At the committee level, the focus will be on government funding. Multiple committees will hear from Biden administration officials talking about the White House budget request for fiscal year 2023. These discussions will inform the appropriations bills that will be drafted over the coming months.

On the floor

The House will vote on the Small Business Development Centers Enhancement Act and the One Stop Shop for Small Business Compliance Act, which will cut red tape and make more resources available to entrepreneurs and small businesses so that they can grow and create jobs.

The Senate will vote on advancing the nomination of Lael Brainard as vice chair of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

In committee

Senate Banking Committee

On Tuesday, the plenary committee will hold a hearing entitled “Consumer Financial Protection Bureau semi-annual report to Congressduring which the following witnesses will testify:

  • Rohit Chopra (Director, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)

Chopra appears before the committee to present the CFPB semi-annual report to Congress, which it unveiled in early April 2022. The report covers the period beginning April 1, 2021 and ending September 30, 2021 and details CFPB’s efforts to increase workforce diversity, organize roundtables to examine racial bias in home assessments and expand housing efforts. These and other issues in the report will likely be discussed during the hearing.

On Tuesday, the Economic Policy Sub-Committee will hold a hearing entitled “Childcare and other policy tools to tackle bottlenecks and inflationduring which the following witnesses will testify:

  • William Spriggs (Professor of Economics and Chief Economist, Howard University and AFL-CIO)
  • Melissa Colagrosso (Owner and Director, A Place to Grow Children’s Center)
  • Kathleen Sgamma (Chair, Western Energy Alliance)
  • Brian Riedl (Senior Researcher, Manhattan Institute)

Inflation has pushed up the prices of items such as gasoline and groceries. Child care has not been spared either, and according to a recent report, the average annual cost of child care is over $14,000, according to a recent LendingTree report. Lawmakers should discuss legislative options to reduce child care costs and fight inflation.

House Financial Services Committee

On Wednesday, the plenary committee will hold a hearing entitled “Consumers First: Biannual Report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureauduring which the following witnesses will testify:

  • Rohit Chopra (Director, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)

The hearing may feature a discussion similar to that of the Senate Banking Committee hearing earlier in the week on the same topic.

On Thursday, the plenary committee will hold a hearing entitled “Financial Crimes Network Monitoring.” The witnesses have not yet been named.

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is responsible, among other things, for promoting national security through the collection, analysis and dissemination of financial intelligence. In recent weeks, FinCEN has issued notices encouraging financial institutions to fight attempts by Russian individuals to evade sanctions. Lawmakers could explore other FinCEN efforts related to Russian aggression against Ukraine.

On Thursday, the committee will hold a hearing entitled “What’s in your digital wallet? A review of recent trends in mobile banking and payments.” The witnesses have not yet been named.

The use of mobile banking services by consumers has exploded in recent years. This trend has accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic as consumers have been forced to socially distance themselves. The committee could explore the future of this and other trends involving mobile banking.

House Ways and Means Committee

On Thursday, the committee will hold a hearing entitled “Proposed budget for fiscal year 2023 with Secretary of Health and Human Services Becerraduring which the following witnesses will testify:

  • Xavier Becerra (Secretary, Department of Health and Social Services)

Secretary Becerra will face questions about President Biden’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2023, which he presented to Congress earlier this year. For a detailed summary of the Department of Health and Human Services budget request, click here.

Senate Finance Committee

The committee currently has no hearings scheduled.


Tax and financial rewind

In case you missed it…

  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Charles Rettig and National Taxpayers’ Advocate Erin Collins testified before the House Oversight and Reform Committee last Thursday. They discussed issues affecting the IRS, such as labor challenges, outdated technology and a persistent backlog.

The White House released a fact sheet last week criticizing, but not by name, Sen. Rick Scott’s (R-FL) 11-point plan to “save America.” The fact sheet claims that congressional Republicans, if they implemented the plan, would raise taxes on middle-class families by an average of $1,500.


Upcoming activity

Below is a comprehensive list of all tax and financial services events in Congress, government, and the private sector for the coming week.

Congress

Wednesday April 27

House Appropriations Committee
Budget request for fiscal year 2023 for the Ministry of Labor

Joint Economic Committee
Building on a Solid Foundation: Investing Today for a More Competitive Tomorrow

Administration

Wednesday April 27

Internal Revenue Service
IRS Advisory Board Meeting

Thursday April 28

Internal Revenue Service
Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Joint Committee Meeting

Private sector

Monday April 25

Tax Policy Center
What can the United States learn from tax reform in developing countries?

Wednesday April 27

PunchBowl News
Interview with House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (R-NC)

Brookings Institution
Remedies for the Recession: Lessons from the U.S. Economic Policy Response to COVID-19

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