Posts Tagged ‘Jeff MacKinnon’

Calm before the Lame-duck Smackdown

by , Apr 27, 2012 | 2:09 am

Bryan in Washington DC sends along an update from PPA lobbyist Jeff MacKinnon (of Ryan, MacKinnon, Berzok and Vasapoli, LLP) on the current legislative landscape for online poker as seen by those working the hallways of Capitol Hill. It’s apparently all about gearing up for a lame-duck-session smackdown, and riding our net-positive revenue potential onto an appropriate bill.

MacKinnon explains:

Calm before the storm.  That’s what it feels like on Capitol Hill these days.  There’s a certain melancholy feeling around here – sort of like a lull between battles during the Civil War. Coming off a year of budget deficit/debt/payroll tax crises, Congress is quietly putting all pending skirmishes off until an end of the year legislative battle royale. If one were in college – it’s sort of the equivalent of taking an incomplete in every class the whole year then having to do a year’s worth of work in 25 days at the end of the year.

Before everyone rushes to E-Trade and shorts the market, in Washington I’ve found that things are never as good or as bad as they appear to be. The one thing Congress is good at is kicking the can down the road. This will be a test of wills like no other – especially for lobbyists like me.

The breadth and number of contentious issues to be decided after the election is overwhelming and quietly has garnered the attention of many CEOs and financial industry leaders. A few of the issues that must be addressed before the end of the year: expiring Bush tax cuts; extending the debt limit; stopping drastic reimbursement reductions for physians in the Medicare program; an unemployment insurance extension; a transportation bill to fund highway programs in 50 states; changes to the alternative minimum tax; tax credit extenders for renewable energy and research and development; and the expiring payroll tax cut. Combined, these issues on the table are equal to 3% of our GDP.