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As you know, both corporate and individual tax rates were reduced in last year’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Lower tax rates make tax-exempt vehicles like municipal bonds less attractive to both corporate and individual investors; with lower tax rates, they have less incentive to look for tax-exempt investments. Reduced demand for municipal bonds and other tax-exempt investment vehicles like private activity bonds (PABs) means that cities will have to increase the interest rates on new bond issues in order to attract investors.
On January 9, President Trump signed Executive Order 13822, entitled "Supporting Our Veterans During Their Transition From Uniformed Service to Civilian Life." The E.O. directs the Secretaries of Defense, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs to develop and submit a Joint Action Plan to provide "seamless access to mental health treatment and suicide prevention resources for transitioning uniformed service members in the year" following military service.
On January 8, President Trump signed Executive Order 13821, entitled "Streamlining and Expediting Requests to Locate Broadband Facilities in Rural America" at the American Farm Bureau Federation's Annual Convention in Nashville, TN. The E.O. is aimed at promoting the expansion of broadband Internet into rural areas that lack connectivity. Trump also signed a Presidential Memorandum addressed to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke requiring him to develop a plan to support rural broadband deployment. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue also released the USDA's Rural Prosperity Task Force Report.
On January 9, U.S. District Judge William Alsup of the Northern District of California ruled that the Trump Administration that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which President Trump has said he will end on March 5, 2018, should remain in effect until legal challenges brought in multiple courts are resolved. On January 16, the Justice Department said that it would take the "rare step" of asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Judge Alsup's ruling, and bypass the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Read more...
During the week of Jan. 8, President Trump signed 17 bills into law.
The House and Senate are both in session this week. The House will consider 11 bills under suspension of the rules. For the remainder of the week, the House will vote on the Home Mortgage Disclosure Adjustment Act (H.R. 2954), which would expand an exemption from mortgage loan reporting requirements to cover more lenders; the World Bank Accountability Act of 2017 (H.R. 3326), which would authorize the U.S. government to contribute $3.29 billion over three years to the World Bank's International Development Association, fulfilling the Trump Administration's request to reduce the authorization level by 15 percent; and the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (H.R. 4712), which would allow medical professionals to be criminally charged and subjected to civil liability if they do not provide medical care to a child that survives an abortion procedure.
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On January 10, 208, the Senate Environment and Public Works full committee held a hearing entitled, “America’s Water Infrastructure Needs and Challenges”. The hearing laid the groundwork for the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) reauthorization process that will occur this year before the most recent reauthorization expires in December.

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