Overwhelmed by all the speculation about what President Trump and the new Congress will tackle after Inauguration?
We’ve identified the top issues to watch in the coming weeks and months — and provided summaries of what’s going on with each one.
Confirming cabinet secretaries
After Donald Trump was elected, there was a tremendous amount of buzz about who he’d tap to be a part of his cabinet — the circle of close advisors who run our federal government’s numerous agencies and implement the president’s agenda, as well as give the president advice. (See a complete list of cabinet picks to-date here.)
But before any of these individuals can assume their post, they have to be confirmed by the Senate. You can find the schedule of hearings and related coverage from Politico here.
Check out The Policy Circle’s primer on how, exactly, the confirmation process works — and don’t forget to tune in to check out the hearings for yourself.
If there’s one issue we can expect to rise to the forefront after Inauguration, it’s healthcare. Republicans have been talking for years about their desire to repeal the Affordable Care Act — and since they control the Executive branch, the House, and the Senate, their chance is finally here.
Issues to watch? Whether Republicans will vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act right away, or wait until they’ve publicly worked out and agreed on all the details of what (if anything) they will do to replace Obamacare.
Additionally, it’s yet-to-be-determined whether Congress will get the Obamacare-repeal ball rolling through standard legislation, or by using a legislative tool known as budget reconciliation that requires only 51 instead of the usual 60 votes to pass the Senate.
Overhauling how we tax businesses
“Taxes are one of life’s certainties, and this year so is business tax reform.” So begins a recent article by economist Martin Feldstein forecasting the major tax-code changes that are likely to occur early on in the new administration’s tenure.
Many think our corporate tax system has reached a breaking point. According to the Tax Foundation, “The United States has the third highest general top marginal corporate income tax rate in the world, at 38.92 percent.” Additionally, the current system incentivizes companies to merge with international counterparts and keep money overseas instead of here in the U.S..
The good news, though, is that while there are a few differences of opinion to work out Donald Trump and many Republicans in Congress seem to be on the same page about what, exactly, about our corporate tax code is most in need of fixing.
When President Trump takes office, one of the first things he and his administration will have to decide is how to go about dealing with the many regulations enacted under President Obama. The President-Elect and his team have suggested one of the first orders of business will be to undo many of the executive orders and regulations put in place over the past eight years. Now it just remains to be seen which regs will stay, and which will go.
Check out OL’s storyboard about how regulations, left unchecked, can have dangerous consequences for our economy, jobs, and businesses: “Getting rid of the red tape that’s strangling our economy.”
There’s a lot that remains to be seen — but we know for sure that the First 100 days will be jam-packed.
Stay tuned to see the new content we’ll be adding to the Solutions Studio in the coming days and weeks!