View this email in your browser
What's Ahead in Washington

Airlines Could See Stand Alone Deal; House votes on modified “Heroes Act;" Stimulus Talks Continue
According to Bloomberg Government, the House will either pass a stand-alone airline aid bill or include it in a broader stimulus package, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said in a statement Friday. Pelosi called on airlines to delay job cuts and announced that “relief for airline workers is being advanced in Congress."
On Thursday, the House voted 214-207 to pass a modified “Heroes Act” while Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin continued to try to negotiate a bipartisan deal that could clear both chambers. Seventeen Democrats voted against the measure, and no Republicans supported it. Pelosi said late Thursday she planned to review the latest documents Mnuchin sent as part of the negotiations.
Expanded unemployment benefits would be restored, aid would be provided to states, and student loan deferments would continue under the $2.2 trillion Covid-19 aid package.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) says the $2.2 trillion stimulus bill has the same poison pills as Democrats’ previous proposal, calling the House Democrats’ bill another “far-left wish list.”
The House measure would modify the Paycheck Protection Program, provide aid to restaurants, and include another round of $1,200 direct payments to taxpayers. The package would also require the Occupation Safety and Health Administration to create workplace safety standards related to the coronavirus and require the implementation of a number of policies related to the Nov. 3 election. It also includes additional funding for health care, education, the airline industry, and frontline workers.
The House measure is substantially larger than a measure considered by the Senate, which would have extended and reduced pandemic unemployment benefits, provided aid to the U.S. Postal Service if certain conditions were met, and created a number of education-related tax breaks. The Senate didn’t reach the 60-vote threshold required to advance the measure, which was offered as an amendment during a procedural vote held on Sept. 9.
More from CNN
Stop-Gap Funding Signed by President
On Wednesday, President Trump signed a continuing resolution—the stop-gap funding measure, keeping the government funded through Dec. 11 at current spending levels. The Senate passed the measure that day with funding technically lapsing at midnight. Government services continued, however, as Trump had been expected to sign the measure.
From Bloomberg reports

SCOTUS Hearing to begin Oct. 12
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has announced that the hearing to consider the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to serve as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States will begin October 12, 2020.

The hearing will last three to four days, using the format the committee has followed for recent Supreme Court nominees. Opening statements by Judiciary Committee members and the nominee will occur on Monday, October 12. The questioning of Judge Barrett will begin on Tuesday, October 13. Testimony by legal experts and those familiar with Judge Barrett is expected to follow.
More from the Senate Judiciary Committee
Senate Dems Seek to Stop Legal Challenge to Obamacare
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is trying to force a vote on his bill aimed at protecting the Affordable Care Act from a legal challenge. The chamber is set to hold a procedural vote today on Schumer’s bill which would prohibit the Department of Justice from advocating against any part of the ACA in court, including  the case before the Supreme Court on Nov. 10, a week after Election Day.

Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have traded messaging votes this week, with both sides saying the other won’t compromise around Obamacare. Republican leaders in the Senate held a vote Wednesday on legislation introduced by Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) that guarantees Americans with serious health conditions will be able to obtain health insurance even if the Affordable Care Act is overturned by a court. Democrats opposed that measure because it did not include other ACA protections, such as prohibitions on lifetime limits.
More from Roll Call
America’s Conservation Enhancement Act Heads to President’s Desk
President Donald Trump is poised to sign into law another major bipartisan conservation package seen as a win for wildlife advocates and the sportsmen community.

The America’s Conservation Enhancement Act, or ACE Act, would authorize more than $1 billion for federal wildlife and habitat programs through 2025, as well as address the challenges of animal disease and invasive species. The House passed the measure Thursday under expedited procedure by voice vote, two weeks after the Senate passed the measure by voice vote.

The legislation is the second major conservation package Congress has sent to the president’s desk this year, spurred in part by bipartisan desires to pass popular measures in the run-up to November’s election.
Read more

The House is out of session the week of Oct. 5, 2020
The Senate is in session the week of Oct. 5, 2020.

Highlighted House Committee Hearings:

Oct. 6
House Committee on Natural Resources
Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Hearing:
"Interior's Royalty Cuts: Thoughtful Policy or Industry Giveaway?"
Oct. 7
House Committee on Oversight and Reform
Subcommittee on Government Operations Hearing:
"IRS in the Pandemic."
Highlighted Senate Committee Hearings:
Oct 7
Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation
Full Hearing:
"Passenger and Freight Rail: The Current Status of the Rail Network and the Track Ahead."
Senate Finance Committee
Subcommittee on Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Growth Hearing:
"The Fiscal Outlook."




Not to be missed

President & First Lady Test Positive for Covid-19; Biden tested negative Friday
President Trump is experiencing “mild symptoms” of COVID-19, a White House official said according to the Associated Press and the New York Times. Two people familiar with his condition told the Times they were cold-like symptoms. The White House says he is still working from isolation.
More from Reuters

Earmarks Coming Back?
Members on both sides of the aisle said Thursday they support ending the decade-long earmark moratorium.

The recommendation to again allow funding local projects and programs through federal spending measures was mentioned throughout a House Rules Committee hearing at which members expressed what changes they’d like to see in the next Congress.

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said earmarks — defined as congressionally directed spending that benefits a particular locality — are important for both individual members and the chamber as a whole. When earmarks were eliminated in 2011, to end what was derided as often wasteful spending, Congress “surrendered part of our power to the executive branch,” Hoyer said.

“Restoring this power in Congress, I believe, is essential to restoring the balance of our constitutional system of checks and balances,” Hoyer said.
Read more from Roll Call

Charitable Conservation Easements Under Attack
Last month, the Senate Finance Committee released a report on syndicated conservation easement transactions.  In its report, the committee laid out an unflattering view of the syndicated arrangements, finding that “syndicated conservation-easement transactions appear to be highly abusive tax shelters.”  This past week, the Senate Finance Committee released IRS data reflecting a “significant increase in conservation easement transactions,” and its chairman expressed concerns about what he characterized as the “serious and persistent abuse of the syndicated conservation easement program.”  

Legitimate practitioners in the land conservation industry are pushing back against the Finance Chairman’s blanket criticism, however. In a recent op-ed Partnership for Conservation’s President Robert Ramsay wrote: “One critical tool designed to encourage private land conservation is the tax deduction available to those who protect their land through conservation easements — restrictions that run with the land forever protecting it from development... Fortunately, there are common sense ways for Congress to address valuation issues without limiting the ability of Americans to conserve land [including] reforms that strengthen appraisal standards.
More from The HIll

Bill Tied to 737 Max Advances in House Panel
A bipartisan bill to overhaul aircraft safety rules in the wake of two Boeing Co. 737 Max crashes cleared a key hurdle Wednesday, weeks after the Senate postponed debate on similar legislation.

The measure (H.R. 8408), like the Senate bill (S. 3969), would tighten the authority the Federal Aviation Administration gives aircraft manufacturers to sign off on a plane’s safety. It would also require manufacturers to adopt better safety management systems and convene an expert panel to review Boeing’s safety culture.

Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and ranking member Sam Graves (R-MO) support the bill.

The aircraft certification process “is broken and we must fix it,” DeFazio said at the markup.

DeFazio said Wednesday he looks forward to advancing the bill to the House floor. However, the measure will have to compete for limited floor time remaining this year, while senators have yet to agree on that chamber’s version of it.
More from the LA Times

KBS Best

Ameren establishes net-zero carbon emissions goal and a transformative expansion of wind and solar energy
This week, Ameren Corporation announced a net-zero carbon emissions goal by 2050 across all its operations in Missouri and Illinois. The company also announced its largest-ever expansion of clean solar and wind generation while maintaining the reliability and affordability that customers have come to expect.

The clean energy expansion is included in the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) of Ameren Missouri. The IRP is a triennial filing that sets forth Ameren Missouri’s preferred plan to transform its electricity generation portfolio over the coming decades. It takes advantage of the continued decline in the cost to build new clean energy resources.

"Our transformative plan accelerates Ameren's transition toward cleaner energy and targets net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, while meeting our customers' expectations for safe, reliable and affordable energy," said Warner Baxter, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Ameren Corporation.
Read more about Ameren’s Clean Energy Goals
Ameren has been a client of KBS since 2011.

Copyright © 2020 Kit Bond Strategies  All rights reserved.

Contact us!

Kit Bond Strategies
911 Washington Avenue, Suite 826
St. Louis, MO 63101

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.