Under the process set up by the Budget Act of 1974, both the House and Senate must pass budget resolutions. However, to fully comply with the law they must agree on a single, compromise version (known as the conference agreement) and pass it through both houses of Congress.
Senator Jeff Sessions has a long history of opposition to legislation that would provide a path to legal status for undocumented immigrations. But he caused an even bigger stir recently with an op-ed in the Washington Post calling for choking back legal immigration.
The Obama Administration is seeking authority to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to manage spikes in global oil prices. This is fundamentally wrong-headed. Price controls explicitly or by “managing” supply are always a bad idea open to political manipulation. The administration should rely more on market forces, including allowing oil exports, not less.
Hillary Clinton foreshadowed her tax policy Monday in New Hampshire. Unfortunately, it looks like more of the same.
The United States needs better educational attainment in its K-12 schools. Eric Hanushek, a Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institute and American Action Forum Education Expert, wrote in the Wall Street Journal that raising student attainment in this country, up to the level in Canada, could add an average of 20 percent to the paycheck of every worker.
The role of large banks in the financial system has been a contentious political and policy debate. In particular, critics have argued that big banks benefit from an implicit taxpayer subsidy stemming from their ability to borrow at lower cost. The argument pins this lower borrowing cost on perceived reduced risk due to the fact that these banks will be bailed out by the government if they get in trouble. That is the heart of the notion of “too big to fail” (TBTF).
The House has voted to repeal the estate tax. Viewed in partisan terms, the reaction from the left was predictable: “Today's vote to repeal the estate tax is just the Republicans' last attempt to tilt the U.S. tax code in favor of the ultra-wealthy campaign donors,” said Washington State Congressman Jim McDermott.
Elizabeth Warren was at it again yesterday, calling for breaking up the big banks, lower interest rates on student loans, closing tax provisions described as Wall Street loopholes, and further limiting the ability of the Federal Reserve to be the lender-of-last-resort in a financial crisis.
It is April 15; the day each year on which policy bloggers, newsletters, and the vast punditry compete to humorously display the vast failings of the U.S. tax code. I won’t do it. I’m on strike.
Federal regulators announced a new rule regarding the “blowout protectors” required for offshore drilling rigs. The failure of the blowout protector was a key part of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill. However, in the wake of the incident stakeholders collaborated to improve oversight, best practices, and technology.