TenCount -> The Supreme Court begins its new term, The proposed tax overhaul

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TenCount -> The Supreme Court begins its new term, The proposed tax overhaul

A highly selective view of events in the week ahead with important financial, legislative and political implications, put together by your friends at Sphere Consulting.

  • How do you say “soul-searching” in Spanish? 90 percent of Catalans who cast a ballot on Sunday voted to secede from Spain despite the central government’s brutal crackdown on citizens who were trying to exercise their right to decide their own fate. Images of the Spanish police firing rubber bullets and swinging truncheons at bloodied Catalans rattled the world. The Spanish government said it will refuse to acknowledge the vote but the real question is whether other world leaders will react to the images from Catalonia.
  • It’s the first Monday in October, which means the Supreme Court begins its new term, one that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has already promised will be “momentous.” The court will decide cases on political gerrymandering and whether businesses can claim religious freedom as a way to refuse to service gay couples. And privacy will be a big topic, given that we all carry a tracking device in our pockets. Here are smart roundups on the new term from the New York Times and Washington Post.
  • Healthcare Reform is dead. Long live Tax Reform! The Trump Administration rolled out its plan to overhaul the nation’s tax code, with President Trump promising to simplify the process and make it less painful and more fair for middle-class Americans. And the Senate Budget Committee unveiled on Friday a 2018 budget that would set the stage for a $1.5 trillion tax cut over the next decade. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center said the effect would be even more pronounced, cutting taxes by $2.4 trillion over 10 years and significantly worsening the deficit.
  • The proposed tax overhaul will be Topic No. 1 on Capitol Hill for months to come. The Senate Finance Committee kicks things off on Tuesday with a hearing on “International Tax Reform” while the Joint Economic Committee hears “How Tax Reform Could Revive American Entrepreneurship.” On Wednesday, the House Committee on Small Business considers “Modernizing the Tax Code for the Nation’s Job Creators.” Think tanks, too, chime in, with the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday hosting the House Republican Study Committee for “Tax Relief for the American People” and the Ripon Society on Wednesday looking at “An Update On Tax Reform.”
  • President Trump is scheduled to visit Puerto Rico on Tuesday amid a growing backlash from those on the island that not enough is being done to help the many without electricity and running water. On Saturday, President Trump lashed out at the mayor of San Juan, accusing her and others there of demonstrating “poor leadership ability” in responding to the crisis.
  • The lack of power is especially crippling in Puerto Rico because the situation is more than just a few lines down; as President Trump said Friday, the entire grid was virtually demolished. Two hearings on Tuesday aim to avoid future such occurrences: on Tuesday, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology looks at “Resiliency: The Electric Grid’s Only Hope.” And the House Energy & Commerce Committee examines “Powering America: Defining Reliability in a Transforming Electricity Industry.”
  • Outrage is never in short supply at Congressional hearings, but it’s likely to emerge in abundance this week at two hearings featuring corporate executives whose companies have done wrong by consumers. On Tuesday, the House Banking Committee looks at “Wells Fargo: One Year Later – that’s one year after the bank was caught creating unauthorized customer accounts. Not one year since it revealed that the number of fake accounts could be 70 percent higher than original estimates.
  • It’s 8 a.m. – Do you know where your data is? If it was at Equifax, who knows who has their hands on it now? Plenty of members of Congress want to know, however. On Tuesday, a panel of the House Energy & Commerce Committee convenes “Oversight of the Equifax Data Breach: Answers for Consumers.” On Wednesday it’s Senate Banking’s turn, with “An Examination of the Equifax Cybersecurity Breach,” followed by Senate Judiciary, which has “Equifax: Continuing to Monitor Data-Broker Cybersecurity.”
  • Cybersecurity, of course, is at the top of plenty of agendas around Washington. On Tuesday morning, the House Committee on Homeland Security hosts “Examining DHS’s Cybersecurity Mission,” while in the afternoon the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform looks at “Cybersecurity of the Internet of Things.”And on Wednesday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce conducts its “6th Annual Cybersecurity Summit.”
  • The opioid epidemic has devastated communities across America, but cities, counties, and states are fighting back, filing lawsuits charging drug manufacturers and distributors with negligence and creating a public nuisance. On Thursday, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee conducts a hearing on “The Federal Response to the Opioid Crisis” with officials from the NIH, CDC and FDA – but missing any representatives of the DEA, which regulates distribution of opioids.

Founded in 2006, Sphere Consulting is an international public affairs firm providing clients with creative, effective, and timely solutions.  Our work spans the globe and all industry sectors with a focus on the implementation of strategic campaigns to deliver your media and government relations needs.

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