The Week In Washington…

Posted on April 16, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized |

What’s happening, and what happened, this week in Washington

April 16, 2015

 

2016: GO!

Hillary Clinton surprised no one this week with her announcement that she is seeking the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. With no other Democratic contenders in sight, it might not be too early to start calling her the presumptive nominee. Meanwhile, the GOP field widened with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio joining the field of announced candidates for that party’s nomination. And Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker set up a PAC to raise money for his expected bid.

 

hillvetica

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 5.23.46 PMSpeaking of Clinton, with the launch of her campaign, the former senator and Secretary of State also unveiled a new logo that has drawn criticism from some corners. Most frequently asked question: Why would a logo for a Democratic candidate have an arrow pointing to the right? Still, it has its backers. Graphic designer Rick Wolff created a typeface he calls “Hillary Bold” or “Hillvetica,” which you can use to make your own comment.

Looking Ahead: Presidential hopeful Paul Rand wasted no time getting his criticism of Hillary, expect the other GOP candidate to join the chorus.

 

Smoke. But Will There be Mirrors for Presidential Candidates?

Marijuana is shaping up to be a key issue in the coming presidential election and New Jersey GOP Gov. Chris Christie is staking out ground as an anti-pot candidate. Christie, who has fought reform of marijuana laws in his home state, says that as president he’ll crack down on weed smokers, even in states that have voted to legalize the drug. A majority of Americans favor legalizing pot.

 

Tax Day: Is Reform Coming?

April 15 brought the usual groans from Americans scrambling to complete their 2014 taxes on time. The U.S. tax code is a law you might need a lawyer, as well as an accountant, to navigate. Here are some big tax breaks. Get your 2014 federal taxpayer receipt from the White House.

Looking Ahead: Should tax reform be an issue in the 2016 presidential race?

 

House Votes to Repeal Estate Tax

In addition to the old adage Death and Taxes, the “Death Tax” was front and center this week when Republicans scored a win on Thursday with a vote in the House to repeal the estate tax. The GOP touts the benefits to small businesses and hardworking families while the Dems portray the move as a deficit burden that benefits the wealthy.

Looking Ahead: The administration has been critical of the repeal and will likely veto a bill should it survive the Senate where it needs 60 votes to pass.

 

Data Security Breach: the High Cost of a Hack

The disturbing hack of health care data announced in February by Anthem, the second biggest health insurance provider, impacted about 78.8 million Americans in more than a dozen states. Earlier this week, a 10 count class action lawsuit was filed in Missouri and if the judge signs off on the class action litigation, 1.5 million Missourians could be part of the lawsuit.

Client Bulletin: The High Cost of Insufficient Data Protection

Is your business protected and prepared against the high cost of insufficient data collection?

 

Summary Grants to Speed UAS Exemptions

The spread of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) need to manage them triggered a decision to use summary grants, a flexible approach to a regulatory process. The use of summary grants should expedite approvals for many commercial UAS operators. Removing barriers to operators appears to be a priority for the FAA and the administration, which is making other efforts to streamline the process eliminating a medical requirement and private pilot certificate.

Looking Ahead: Flight schools? Auburn University has become the first school to receive FAA approval to operate an Unmanned Aircraft Flight School.

 

Rulemaking

One proposed rule would change the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program EHR reporting period in 2015 to a 90-day period aligned with the calendar year, and also would align the EHR reporting period in 2016 with the calendar year.

The Office of the Comptroller of Currency Board, and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation announced the third in a series of outreach meetings on the Agencies’ interagency process to review their regulations under the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996.

The Department of Labor issued for public comment on the long-anticipated controversial redraft of its rule to amend the definition of fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

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