john larson Archives - Shopfloor

Time for a Permanent R&D Tax Credit (Long Past Due, Actually)

By | Innovation, Taxation, Technology | No Comments

From The Hill (blog), “Bipartisan House members make push for R&D tax credit“:

A bipartisan group of House members is hoping now is the time to expand and permanently extend a tax credit for research and development.

At a Wednesday news conference in the Capitol, six lawmakers said they believed legislation they were backing would offer companies more certainty and help the United States stop losing ground to global competitors when it comes to innovation.

“This is an issue that cuts to the core of who we are as a nation,” said Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.), the chair of the House Democratic Caucus. “Manufacturing is part of our DNA. In order to make things in America, you have to be innovative. In order to be innovative, you have to make the investment in research and development.”

The bill is H.R. 942. The Hill’s technology blog, Hillicon Valley, reports support from the tech industry.

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), chief sponsor of the bill, issued a news release marking its introduction. Excerpt:

“Innovation drives America’s future,” said U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady (R-Texas), a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee and the author of The American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2011. “To keep from falling behind our global competitors and to make sure America is the first choice for R & D jobs we need to modernize the tax credit, strengthen it to encourage companies to make greater investment in research and jobs and make the credit permanent so businesses have the confidence to make long-term investment decisions here in the United States.”

The National Association of Manufacturers praised the bill.

DISCLOSE Act, an Update

By | Briefly Legal, Communications, First Amendment and Lobbying, General, Regulations | One Comment

Could there be a last minute push in the Senate to pass the DISCLOSE Act, legislation that attempts to limit political speech in violation of the First Amendment? Well, the President did make the bill the topic of his weekly address Saturday, a odd choice when  the salient economic and political issue is jobs.

As Ben Smith of Politico reported, “Grumble of the day: Campaign finance?!:

This week’s address attacked the Citizens United ruling, an question of campaign finance, Constitutional law, and, above all, process. The White House and some of its allies view the issue as a way of getting at the supposed Republican allegiance to big corporations. But the skepticism that this issue cuts through — at a time of overwhelming economic focus — is pretty widespread, and the decision to use any platform to talk about anything other than the economy is drawing quiet grumbles from Democrats.

“Any wonder there’s a growing impression that these guys are disconnected, not just from Democrats up for election, but from middle America?” a senior Democratic strategist said to me this morning.

Time is running out for action on the DISCLOSE Act before Congress recesses to campaign. But meanwhile, the House Administration Committee on Thursday is holding a hearing on a semi-related campaign finance bill, H.R. 6116, the Fair Elections Now Act  sponsored by Rep. John Larson (D-CT). Now that we read Rep. Larson’s news release and the bill summary more closely, we conclude it wasn’t fair in Monday’s Dispatch from the Front to call it “yet another attempt to limit political speech akin to the DISCLOSE Act.” It’s more recondite than that.

Rep. Larson’s bill is a public financing of campaigns bill, creating a Fair Elections Fund with 400 percent matches for small dollar contributions. It’s more obscure in its attempts to control speech, at least at the start, using dollars to structure and regulate campaign spending and thus the political debate.

Although there is this obvious attempt to determine expression:

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