It’s a bill they actually like and have supported for decades, but the TAA vote is scheduled to come up first today and if that bill fails, TPA never even gets a chance. The play pitted close friends Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Democratic Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) against one another. The issue was not resolved by the time lawmakers left the Capitol for the annual Congressional Baseball Game, and the chances of passing the bill are still up in the air.
The vote is scheduled to start between 11 a.m. and noon, and there is still a very strong chance that the timing could change if a last-minute vote check looks shaky.
BERNIE WANTS A TOP TAX RATE OVER 50 PERCENT. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) made his pledge to make the wealthy pay more a little more concrete Thursday when he told PBS’s Charlie Rose that he wants to raise the top tax rate above 50 percent.
While most politicians talk about cutting tax rates, Sanders said he is “working right now on a comprehensive tax package, which I suspect will, for the top marginal rates, go over 50 percent.”
Sanders is seeing a surge in popularity as his populist message takes off, but a tax hike of that size would be almost impossible to pass in Congress.
HOUSE WANTS TO BAN POT SALES IN D.C. FOR TWO YEARS. The cadre of House Republicans who aren’t happy that D.C. voters want to legalize marijuana helped shepherd legislation to ban the sale of pot in the District for at least two years. The restriction, which was included in a House appropriations bill, bans the sale but doesn’t stop legalization.
The House will probably approve the measure when the bill comes up for a vote but President Obama has vowed to veto every spending bill that is passed under existing spending caps. This, like every appropriations bill seen this year, meets that criteria. If House Republicans really want to use the appropriations process to curb marijuana laws, they’ll probably have to do it later this year, if and when broader budget negotiations get underway.
HOUSE MOVES TO CUT IRS BUDGET, AGAIN. Another year, another budget cut for the ailing IRS. The tax collection agency was hardly popular before the 2013 political targeting scandal made it the favorite federal punching bag and things keep getting worse.
Federal Eye’s Eric Yoder reports: “The financial services-general government appropriations bill would set the agency’s 2016 budget at $10.1 billion, which Democrats said is below the level of a decade ago even though the agency’s workload has grown substantially. The amount is $838 million below the fiscal year 2015 level and $2.8 billion below the White House’s request.”