Quick Hit – December 18, 2015

Congress’s Holiday Gift to Obama…

Today, the Senate finalized the $1.8 trillion spending deal and tax package in a 65-33 vote. It is expected that the bipartisan legislation will be signed into law by the President shortly.

Biggest takeaways…

The Republicans got:
Lift on long-time ban on oil exports
Permanent tax breaks for business
Sec. 179 small-business expense deductions

The Democrats got:
30% solar tax credit extended, wind protection tax through 2022
Policy Riders:
Most GOP policy riders (Syrian refugee blocks, rollbacks to Dodd Frank) did not make the bill
Campaign finance:
Corporations not required to disclose political giving to SEC
Block to IRS rules regulating 501(c)4 group activities

Cybersecurity

The Cybersecurity Act of 2015 is passed under the spending and tax package, marking the most significant cyber legislation in years. The law permits private companies, such as Facebook and Google, to share private information with intelligence agencies and DHS in an effort to prevent cyber attacks. The issue is extremely controversial, not across party lines, but between privacy rights advocates and members of the intelligence/security community.

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