lobbying

Businesses Say Foreign Payment Treatment May Breach Treaties
Provisions in House and Senate tax bills draw pushback

Ohio Rep. James B. Renacci says issues with the provisions in question must be resolved in conference negotiations. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Business advocates are warning that provisions in the House and Senate tax bills aimed at discouraging offshore migration of multinational operations could trigger trade disputes and retaliation by trading partners because they conflict with tax treaties.

The Semiconductor Industry Association, representing big chipmakers such as Intel Corp., Texas Instruments Inc. and Qualcomm Inc., told Republican leaders in a Dec. 5 letter that it has trade-related concerns about two House and Senate proposals that target multinationals’ payments to foreign affiliates, including payments for parts and other goods used in manufacturing, royalties, interest and management fees.

Former Sherman Aide Accused of Sexual Assault
Matt Dababneh, now a California assemblyman, worked as aide to Sherman from 2005 to 2013

Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., speaks to constituents during a town hall meeting hosted by state Assemblyman Matt Dababneh, a former Sherman aide, in Van Nuys in February. Dababneh is accused of performing a lewd act in front of a lobbyist last year. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

A former aide to Rep. Brad Sherman who is currently a California state assemblyman is being accused of sexual assault

Matt Dababneh is being accused by lobbyist Pamela Lopez, who said Dababneh sexually assaulted her in a Las Vegas bathroom in 2016, The Associated Press reported.

New Excise Tax Targets Big-Money Nonprofit Executives
But K Street isn’t pushing hard to remove proposal

Association lobbyists on K Street could be hit by a 20 percent excise tax on seven-figure compensation packages under the GOP tax overhaul. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Many of K Street’s highest-paid association lobbyists are pushing for the first major tax overhaul in 30 years, but a discrete provision in the sweeping measure may have an adverse consequence for their bottom lines.

Lawmakers have crafted a new 20 percent excise tax on seven-figure compensation packages at all tax-exempt organizations, including trade associations, foundations, universities and hospital systems. The new tax is in both the House-passed bill and the Senate draft, making it likely to remain if the overhaul becomes law.

Opinion: Congress Must Act to Limit Hostile Foreign Influences
Americans deserve to know when foreign adversaries are trying to meddle

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort leaves the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse after a court hearing on the terms of his bail and house arrest on Nov. 6. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

 

 

Sweeping Changes Proposed for Foreign Lobbying Law
Critics: Proposal overreacts to Mueller indictments

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bill introduced by Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley in response to indictments in the special counsel’s Russia probe would have far-reaching consequences for U.S. representatives of foreign governments, foreign companies and other international interests.

The Iowa Republican put forward the measure last week after Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III announced indictments in his investigation of possible Russian interference in the 2016 elections. Republican Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana introduced an identical bill in his chamber.

Murphy Calls Out ‘Fealty to Gun-Makers’ After Texas Massacre
‘None of this is inevitable,’ Connecticut senator says after gunman kills more than 20 during church service

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., talks with reporters in the Capitol after the Senate policy luncheons in October. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Connecticut Sen. Christopher S. Murphy slammed his colleagues for their “fealty to gun-makers” after the shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday that left 26 people dead.

“None of this is inevitable. I know this because no other country endures this pace of mass carnage like America,” the Connecticut Democrat said in a statement.

Report: Mueller Investigating Former Rep. Vin Weber
Minnesota congressman who served from 1981 to 1993 being investigated for ties to Manafort, source says

Former Republican Rep. Vin Weber is shown here making his introduction as a fellow in the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics. (University of Chicago via YouTube)

Former Minnesota Republican Rep. Vin Weber is being targeted as part of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation, sources with direct knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press.

Weber, who served in the House from 1981 to 1993 and is a partner at lobbying firm Mercury LLC, is being targeted for his firm’s work with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s Ukrainian lobbying efforts, the AP reported.

Gucci Gulch Can’t Hold All Lobbyists Engaged in Tax Fight
Few echoes from the 1980s in current overhaul effort

Staffers, lobbyists and reporters wait in the so-called Gucci Gulch outside a hearing room in the Dirksen Senate Office Building in 2005. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lobbyists are ready to prowl the hallways outside the tax-writing committees as Congress seeks to overhaul the tax code, but the scenes won’t be reminiscent of the 1980s-era Gucci Gulch.

The tools of influence and communication have exploded in the past three decades. Back then, for example, only the richest denizens of Gucci Gulch sported “those brick-like cell phones,” recalled Jeffrey Birnbaum, who co-wrote a 1988 book about the last major tax overhaul, “Showdown at Gucci Gulch: Lawmakers, Lobbyists and the Unlikely Triumph of Tax Reform.”

Opinion: All About the Lobby — Linking the Mueller Indictments to a Tax Overhaul
Desperate for a win, the GOP is not sweating the small — or big — stuff

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, with campaign manager Paul Manafort and daughter Ivanka Trump at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There’s something ironic about President Donald Trump promising to “drain the swamp,” three of his campaign aides getting indicted, two of those aids facing federal charges related to their work as lobbyists for a foreign government, and Congress barreling ahead to pass tax reform all in the same week.

If the events seem unrelated, they’re really not, because the entire illegal scheme that special prosecutor Robert Muller described in the indictments of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates on Monday had one ultimate goal — to influence members of Congress, in this case on matters related to the government of Ukraine.

K Street Reels Amid Indictments in Russia Elections Probe
12 counts include conspiracy, tax evasion and money laundering

The first indictments in the Justice Department’s Russia probe have touched K Street, too. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

K Street can’t escape the fallout from Monday’s first indictments in the Justice Department probe into Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

Not only were charges revealed against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, onetime lobbyists who worked on President Donald Trump’s campaign, but the expanding investigation by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III rocked one of K Street’s biggest and most prominent firms, the Podesta Group. This is likely just the beginning.