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Democrats Focus on Pared-Down Reconciliation Bill, Biden Takes Action on Climate

  • July 22, 2022

US Capitol

Democrats scaled down their ambitions for a budget reconciliation bill in the wake of Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) recent rejection of any climate and tax legislative package. Instead, congressional Democrats this week focused on a limited prescription drug pricing and health care subsidy bill as President Biden announced executive actions to make progress on climate initiatives. (Roundtable Weekly, July 15 and New York Times, July 20)

Senate Democrats Pivot

  • Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said this week that Democrats are moving forward on a smaller party-line package before the Senate summer recess begins on August 5. Policymakers are also mindful that budget reconciliation rules expire on Sept. 30 as the November mid-term elections approach. (AP, July 19 and July 15)

  • Roundtable Tax Policy Advisory Committee Member Russ Sullivan (Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP) profiles the steps and timeline involved to produce a reconciliation bill in his article, “How Likely is it that we see a Reconciliation Law Passed in this Congress?" (JD Supra, July 12)

White House Climate Action

President Biden speech on Climate
  • Biden's executive actions “to turn the climate crisis into an opportunity” fell short of declaring a federal emergency, which would have unlocked broad federal powers to develop clean energy. (Wall Street Journal and White House fact sheet, July 20)

  • With climate legislation stalled in Congress, and constrained by a recent SCOTUS ruling that restricts the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases, Biden’s actions to increase offshore wind capacity and help communities cope with extreme heat have been described as “incremental” and “minuscule compared to his ambitious plan” for a net-zero emissions economy by 2050. (Wall Street Journal and POLITICO, July 20)

  • Given the limited federal response, Biden stressed that governors, mayors, state agency heads, and public utility commissioners—as well as developers—need “to stand up and be part of the solution.” (President Biden remarks and video, July 20)

Trends in CRE, the congressional agenda, and the upcoming lame-duck session of Congress after the mid-term elections will be among the topics discussed during The Roundtable’s Fall Meeting on Sept. 20-21 in Washington, DC.

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