“The scheme will work only if all 46 members of their caucus are pulling in the same direction. And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) hopes to tempt some defense-minded Democrats to vote with Republicans by putting forward a national security spending bill as his opening move in the chess game, followed by other tough votes on military construction and veterans affairs.”
WELCOME BACK, ONLINE SALES TAX. The issue of a national online retail tax died down last year when it became obvious that Republicans were heavily split on whether or not they could support any kind of new tax. Bernie Becker at the Hill reports that a group of House Republicans introduced new legislation this week.
“The bill, from House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and a group of 15 other House members, would give states greater latitude to charge sales taxes on online purchases from out-of-state customers,” Becker writes. “But supporters say it also improves upon previous online sales tax legislation, called the Marketplace Fairness Act, that made it through the Senate last Congress before getting stonewalled by House GOP leaders.”
THE GOLD-PLATED IRA OF WALL STREET. Why have a basic 401(k) when you could use some of Wall Street’s greatest investment minds to build something better? Richard Rubin at Bloomberg has the fascinating tale of how one powerhouse hedge fund leveraged their internal talent and knowledge of both the IRS and the financial system to turn their plan into an investment in the uber-profitable fund Medallion.
“In a series of unusual moves, Renaissance Technologies abolished its 401(k) plan and won the government’s permission to put pieces of Medallion inside Roth IRAs. That means no taxes — ever — on the future earnings of a fund that averaged a 71.8 percent annual return, before fees, from 1994 through mid-2014,” Rubin writes. “The switch — the result of four years of legal work and two waivers from the U.S. Labor Department — could yield an extraordinary payoff for workers at Renaissance, a pioneer in quantitative trading. The loser will be the U.S. Treasury, which stands to miss out on many millions of tax dollars.”
TRADE VOTE DELAY. That re-do vote on trade? Not happening for a while. Instead the House is expected to vote on a measure that would extend the window for a vote through July 30. Our own Paul Kane and David Nakamura break it down.
“Given the grim outcome for Obama of the first vote on Friday — 302 against and 126 in favor — they stood no chance for turning nearly 100 votes in four days,” they write. “Instead, Boehner decided to impose a temporary rule that, if approved Tuesday, will allow him until July 30 to bring up the trade debate at any time for a do-over of the stalled companion legislation to the trade package. If successful, Boehner will have bought an additional six weeks to find a way out of the mess.”