How to lobby the conference committee

With David Beavers and Aubree Eliza Weaver

LOBBYISTS HAVE ONE LAST SHOT TO SHAPE TAX REFORM: “Lobbyists have launched an all-out effort to save tax breaks and protect powerful industries as the Republicans’ tax overhaul lurches toward President Donald Trump’s desk,”POLITICO’s Theodoric MeyerAaron Lorenzo and Colin Wilhelm report. “Builders and real estate interests are pushing to save the mortgage interest deduction. Businesses are fighting to strip out a last-minute provision inserted into the Senate bill that would preserve the corporate alternative minimum tax. And a coalition of trade groups and local government leaders is urging Republicans not to cut the state and local tax deduction.”

— “With Trump pressing Congress to send him a bill before Christmas, lobbyists must decide where they want to focus their efforts over the next week. Some are working the senators and representatives who will make up the conference committee charged with ironing out the differences between the House and Senate bills. Others are working to persuade Republican leaders or leaning on the members of Congress whose constituents may see their taxes go up if changes aren’t made to the bill.”

— “The lobbyists with the most leverage may be those who can argue that the bill won’t pass unless lawmakers address their concerns. ‘In order to get the votes they need on final passage, they have to satisfy a lot of members’ whose constituents will be hit with tax increases, said Bob Chlopak, a lobbyist for Americans Against Double Taxation, a coalition fighting to preserve the state and local tax deduction.” Full story.

 Tax reform is still driving new business: Trinity University in San Antonio has hired former Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-Texas) and two of his colleagues at the Normandy Group to lobby on tax reform.

— Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld sent its client a comprehensive chart on Wednesday outlining the differences between the House and Senate bills. “As the conference committee gets underway this week and into next, Republicans are largely united and resolute in their goal of sending tax reform to the President’s desk before Christmas, but a number of key differences on business, individual, and international tax reform stand between them and the finish line,” the firm notes. Here’s the chart.

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