House Republican Tax Reform Bill Unveiled

by Denise A. Bode & Anne C. Canfield

In case you missed it…

On November 2, House Republicans released their tax reform bill titled, “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.” Michael Best Strategies’ tax policy experts, Denise Bode and Anne Canfield, both veterans from the last tax reform overhaul that was passed by Congress in 1986, provided their preliminary analysis of the initial bill, which is below and in the chart on the following page. As they predicted, the legislation is currently being refined and perfected.  On November 3, House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady released a revised version of the bill — the “Chairman’s Mark.”  Chairman Brady stated that he will make further revisions to his new Chairman’s Mark over the weekend, and that a new “Chairman’s Mark” will be released on Monday at the beginning of the Committee markup.  Those revisions will be both substantive and technical.  Updates will be distributed by Michael Best Strategies as we receive them.

Below are links to all of the key documents, including the “Chairman’s Mark” released on Friday, November 3, the summary of changes reflected in the Chairman’s Mark prepared by the Joint Committee on Taxation, and the Joint Committee on Taxation revenue table for the Chairman’s Mark.

Of particular interest is the aggressive schedule the GOP leadership has outlined. Speaker Paul Ryan indicated he expects the full House to hold a vote on the bill the week of November 13. If the bill passes, it will head to the Senate. The Senate Finance Committee is already working on their own tax reform bill, which might be released on Wednesday, November 8, and could be voted on by the full Senate on the week of November 20. President Trump has repeatedly made it clear that he wants to see tax reform wrapped up before the end of the year. With Republicans in dire need for a political ‘win’ to campaign on in 2018, it appears that the House and Senate leadership is eager to meet the President’s timetable.

Click here to see the MBS Initial Analysis of the House “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” 
The MBS Tax Side-by-Side and key links to important documents are included.


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                  FROM THE CHART ROOM

                  FERC New Pipeline Projects

                  Five new pipeline projects in the Northeast received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in October, the first projects to be approved since February. FERC regained its quorum in August after the Senate confirmed two new commissioners. These confirmations ended a six-month period when FERC was unable to issue certificates to allow construction of interstate energy transmission infrastructure, including natural gas pipeline projects. FERC did not have a quorum beginning in February 2017 when the number of commissioners fell below the required minimum of three. The final two commissioners await a floor vote by the Senate

                  ferc-review-of-nat-gas-pipelines

                  The five projects approved in October, which are designed to increase the delivery capacity from the Northeast’s Utica and Marcellus natural gas-producing regions, are:

                  Before losing its quorum on February 3, 2017, FERC had certificated more than 7 Bcf/d of pipeline capacity. Since then, as of October 24, 2017, 12 pre-filing applications have been submitted to FERC for pipeline projects transmitting natural gas in the United States and 46 pipeline projects have FERC applications in process. The capacity of all these projects totals about 40 Bcf/d, covering slightly more than 2,500 miles of both new and upgraded pipeline construction. In comparison, the Lower 48 states have more than 300,000 miles of interstate and intrastate natural gas transmission pipeline in use.

                  The eight largest projects by capacity with applications before FERC have a total capacity of slightly less than 20 Bcf/d, or more than 60% of the capacity for all pending natural gas pipeline applications. Six of these projects, located in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma, are intended to support liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects. The construction of five of these pipeline projects will likely be tied to the approval of the associated LNG export terminals. These projects include:

                  • Rio Bravo Pipeline: a 137-mile pipeline in Texas with a capacity of 4.5 Bcf/d, connecting the Rio Grande LNG facility to available interstate pipelines
                  • Driftwood Pipeline: a 96-mile pipeline in Louisiana with a capacity of 4 Bcf/d, connecting the Driftwood LNG facility to available interstate pipelines
                  • Port Arthur Pipeline–Louisiana Connector: a 135-mile pipeline with a capacity of 2 Bcf/d, mostly in Louisiana with a small segment of pipeline in Texas to connect to the Port Arthur LNG facility in Texas
                  • Port Arthur Pipeline–Texas Connector: a 34-mile pipeline with a capacity of 2 Bcf/d, mostly in Texas with a small segment of pipeline in Louisiana, terminating at the Port Arthur LNG facility in Texas
                  • Gator Express Pipeline: a 27-mile pipeline in Louisiana with a capacity of 1.9 Bcf/d, connecting the Plaquemines LNG facility to the Tennessee Gas pipeline and the Texas Eastern Transmission pipeline

                  In addition, the proposed Cheniere Midship Pipeline in Oklahoma is a 199-mile pipeline, with a capacity of 1.4 Bcf/d, that would connect to pipelines that support Cheniere’s export facilities and provide natural gas to consumers along the Gulf Coast.

                  Two other relatively large proposed pipeline projects would further increase the delivery capacity from natural gas-producing regions in the Northeast. These projects include:

                  Link to EIA


                   

                   

                  Michael Best Strategies’ Energy Team

                  About Michael Best Strategies

                  Michael Best Strategies focuses on achieving clients’ objectives through unparalleled strategy development and deployment for implementation, pragmatic guidance on public policy development, and government relations. The Strategies team specializes in a full range of services, including government relations, public policy consulting, grassroots advocacy, public affairs, conference planning, and strategic political relationships. For more information, visit michaelbeststrategies.com.