Richard E Neal

Ambitious infrastructure plan hits reality check: How to pay for it
Disagreements illustrate how difficult it will be to bring plan to fruition

Rep. John B. Larson, D-Conn., leaves the Capitol on Feb. 28, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

On Wednesday morning, House Democrats presented an ambitious vision for a massive infusion of federal dollars in the nation’s infrastructure. 

By Wednesday afternoon, members of the House Ways and Means Committee illustrated how difficult it will be to bring that plan to fruition.

House Democrats tout five-year, $760 billion infrastructure plan
GOP members offer infrastructure ideas as well, urge bipartisan legislation

Democratic Reps. Frank Pallone Jr., Richard E. Neal and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a news conference Wednesday to announce an ambitious infrastructure framework. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats on Wednesday unveiled an ambitious five-year, $760 billion infrastructure framework, part of a concentrated election-year effort to show they can pursue aggressive legislation even as they make a case for the Senate to remove President Donald Trump from office.

“These are not message bills,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “We are hoping we’ll have the support of Republicans and the president of the United States.”

Businesses hit by mistaken tax penalty seek help from Congress
Drafting error in 2017 GOP tax overhaul hurt retail industry particularly hard

Arizona Sen. Martha McSally is the lead sponsor of a bill that would address an unintentional mistake in the 2017 Republican tax code overhaul over deducting net operating losses. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A one-word drafting error in the 2017 tax code overhaul has sent companies ranging from specialty retailer PetSmart Inc. to Nissan Motor Co. scrambling to Capitol Hill for relief.

As part of the effort to offset a dramatic reduction in the corporate tax rate in the 2017 law, Republicans limited the ability of firms to claim tax breaks on net operating losses, or when deductions exceed income.

Photos of the week
The week of Dec. 16 as captured by Roll Call’s photojournalists

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., speaks with reporters as she passes the Merry Christmas, Happy New Year sign in the basement of the Capitol while leaving the House Democrats’ caucus meeting on Tuesday morning. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Court strikes down individual mandate for Obamacare
The 2010 health care law’s mandate for most Americans to buy insurance is unconstitutional, said a long-awaited 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling

Responding to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals striking down Obamacare’s “individual mandate” for health insurance, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra says his state will “move swiftly to challenge this decision because this could mean the difference between life and death.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A federal appeals court on Wednesday struck down the requirement that most Americans have health insurance, nullifying a major part of the 2010 health care law, but punted on the broader question about whether the rest of the law can stand.

A 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled, 2-1, in its long-awaited decision that the so-called “individual mandate” to get insurance cannot stand after Republicans zeroed out the tax penalty for not having coverage. The panel sent the case back to a district court in the Northern District of Texas to consider other parts of the law.

Road ahead: It’s not just impeachment week
Government funding, Pentagon authorization and a trade deal are also on the agenda

House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey, D-N.Y., will have spending bills on the House floor on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Seldom is a massive government funding package almost completely overshadowed on Capitol Hill.

But that is the reality with the House barreling toward the impeachment of President Donald Trump on Wednesday. Both houses have a lot to do before departing for the holidays.

US irks Mexico with a labor detail in trade implementing bill
US oversight of Mexican factories is a sensitive issue

Jesus Seade, Mexico’s top trade negotiator, said he was surprised to find a provision in legislation to implement the USMCA that would post U.S. Labor Department officials in Mexico to ensure his country was complying with the agreement. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images file photo)

A seemingly small detail in the 239-page implementing legislation for a revised U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement has stirred objections from Mexico as the House prepares to vote this week on the pact. The legislation proposes more than $2 billion in U.S. money to enforce the agreement and to deal with its consequences.

Jesus Seade, Mexico’s undersecretary of foreign affairs for North America, said over the weekend he was surprised to find that the bill calls for posting up to five Labor Department personnel to the U.S. Embassy in Mexico to oversee his country’s compliance with labor provisions. Seade said a separate packet of revisions to the proposed USMCA signed by the three countries on Dec. 10 doesn’t note that number.

Official: White House not worried Senate’s lack of input might sink USMCA
Trade pact biggest ‘casualty of Speaker Pelosi’s impeachment obsession,’ McConnell says

House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., conducts a news conference Tuesday on a deal reached with the White House on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The White House has no concerns that Republican senators might jump ship on President Donald Trump’s sweeping USMCA trade pact after they were told Thursday a deal with House Democrats will leave them unable to press for further changes.

“We haven’t heard any Senate Republicans come out and say they’re opposing the deal on substance,” a White House official said Thursday, granted anonymity to be candid. “I have no concerns.”

Ways and Means offers its own plan on surprise medical bills
New proposal could complicate efforts to enact a rival bill before year’s end

Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., and ranking member Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, said the committee would take up the proposal early next year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Pelosi and Pence eye voters with USMCA agreement
Democrats and Trump appear to see the agreement as a rallying issue as they head into 2020 elections

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., conduct a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade deal agreement on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi claimed victory for House Democrats Tuesday, saying they had reshaped a trade agreement designed to replace the long vilified 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement that organized labor has blamed for manufacturing jobs lost to Mexico.

In a sign of the potential political importance of the agreement to a core constituency, Pelosi and House Ways and Means Chairman Richard E. Neal, D-Mass., repeatedly thanked Richard Trumka, president of the influential AFL-CIO, for prodding Democrats to get the best deal possible for enforcement of new ambitious labor laws in Mexico that include workers’ right to form unions to negotiate for better pay and work conditions.