at least have a dramatic cut in the Estate Tax,” Ayers ex- plained. “The House tax reform blueprint includes full repeal of the Estate Tax. And President Trump’s tax reform plan includes full repeal of the Estate Tax as a priority.” How long until advocates see anything passed? As al- ways, Schoening advised patience. “I do think we’re going to see some progress. I think the House is going to pass a bill on tax reform. Where this is going to get tricky is in the Senate. The healthcare bill as it stands now, unless it dramatically changes, cannot get 60 votes in the Senate,” Schoening explained. He added that the Senate will likely vote on such a bill using the budget reconciliation, which allows the measure to pass with 51 votes. “It is premature to speculate on the timing,” Schoening said. “The administration wants to do everything it can to speed this up. That’s why in terms of timing and looking at the calendar for the legislative days, it is tough. I’m encouraging people to think about this year rather than think about 100 days or other arbitrary time limits. We want to get something done this year on healthcare and tax reform.” There is also some optimism that repeal of portions of the Estate Tax could happen in 2017, including the part of the bill that includes the Conflict Minerals Resolution— something many in electrical distribution will be closely watching. “That has definitely become a problem for the indus- try even though electrical distributors were not the targets of the regulation,” Ayers said. “NAED has been supportive of that repeal because it’s putting an undue burden on NAED members.”
What’s the Timetable? Just how much longer until business owners see passage of these legislative repeals is a question Schoening and Ayers have been hearing. “We think healthcare first and then hopefully tax re- form,” Schoening said. “But in terms of our big issues, the one that would move first would be healthcare, and tied for second and third would be Dodd-Frank and tax reform.” Schoening is also looking forward to the NAED’s Con- gressional Fly-In [to be held June 20-21 in Washington, D.C.], where these issues will be prime topics. “This is a unique time in history right now. For the first time in 30 years we actually have the potential to reform the tax code,” he explained. “Therefore, we really want to emphasize the importance of members coming to advocate on these issues.” ;
Nowlan is a Boston-based freelance writer/editor and author. He
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