Host Jack Belcher is joined by John Sandell, principal of advisory services at noted government affairs consultancy Cornerstone Government Affairs, for the latest installment of Energy Policy Watch.
Sandell, an expert in tax policy, served as tax counsel on the House Ways and Means Committee. In that position, he served with three consecutive chairmen and also worked on drafting and passing several tax bills that were signed into law.
In this installment of Energy Policy Watch, Sandell discusses the Inflation Reduction Act and its impact on the oil and gas industry.
Jack Belcher: Can you give us a little bit of background? How did you get where you are? How did you end up on the Ways and Means Committee and an expert on tax policy?
John Sandell: Yeah. I mean, like a lot of Capitol Hill careers, I would say a lot of it had to do with good timing, good opportunity, a good confluence of circumstances. My background, going to law school, studying a lot of tax policy, thinking and planning that I would end up practicing either with a big firm or maybe with an accounting firm. Toward the end of law school I spent a little time on the Hill as an intern, as a law clerk, as a lot of people do.
I was gearing up to leave that summer and thinking I had a great time, it was a fascinating experience, but I was done. Then again, I just got really lucky with the timing. There was a job for a low man on the legal staff, an entry opportunity, and a gentleman and a good friend of mine had departed that role to seek greener pastures. I had actually already left and they called me back and said, "Hey, do you want to come back and do this?" I said, "Yeah, absolutely."
That sort of good timing happened a couple of more times to me on the staff throughout the duration of Dave Camp's tenure as chairman, and then Paul Ryan became chairman for not all that long, about a year. Then we got into the Kevin Brady era in the fall of 2015. I know you've had Chairman Brady on this podcast and he was great. He is great, a great boss, great member, huge champion for the energy industry as well.
During his tenure, I mean, he really oversaw a number of especially significant pieces of legislation and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act 2017 is first and foremost in most people's minds. The PATH Act in 2015, just a couple of months after he became chairman was a bipartisan $700 billion tax bill that people forget about now, but included a lot of energy policy and a lot of traditional tax extenders.
Really, I mean, good timing, chance to work with some great people, I mean, and on the Hill that I think that's a pretty common story.
JB: Well, it's an interesting process mentioning how these bills get made into law. This has been certainly a very interesting year. The path that what started out as the Build Back Better package that was announced dead a few times. Then out of the blue almost a few weeks ago, we have this new package that emerged that could be passed through budget reconciliation and was just signed into law this week.
Can you talk a little bit about that path? How does that happen? How did it happen? Also, maybe just a little bit about what budget reconciliation is.
JS: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, and every piece of legislation has a different path. They're all very idiosyncratic. They're unique. This process I would say really began about a year ago from when we're having this discussion now. It really began in late August and early September of 2021. Democrats used their FY21, their fiscal year '21 reconciliation vehicle. You mentioned reconciliation. Once per year, once per budget year there's a clear opportunity for Congress to advance fiscal and budget-related legislation.
That's what reconciliation is. What you're reconciling is you're reconciling differences between the various budget resolutions, the president's budget proposal and legislation that Congress has enacted or failed to enact since. Then it's meant to be this fast-track opportunity. In practice, what it is really significant for and known for is the ability to do legislation with 50 votes in the Senate. Instead of what we've come to accept is the typical 60 vote threshold under which most legislation passes in the Senate.
That makes it a really important opportunity when one party controls both bodies in Congress and the White House as the Democrats do now, as Republicans did in 2017 when we did TCJA 2017, also a reconciliation bill. The federal government's fiscal year ending on September 30th, that means the vehicle expires. Again, in '21, they had used that reconciliation vehicle on what was called the American Rescue Plan, the ARP.
They had been working toward and knowing that they were going to have this next opportunity beginning October 1 of '21 in the FY22 fiscal year, that's what they were gearing up for. In September of '21, we came back from August recess and committees in the House started markups. Something like a dozen committees began marking up their portions of what would become known as, and what would pass the House in November of last year, as the Build Back Better Act.
That was a much larger piece of legislation. You could have a lot of debates about what it raised and what it spent, what it cost. I think most people thought of it as around a net $2 trillion deficit increase bill. Some would say that it spent as much as 4 or 5 trillion. If you look at the... Senator Manchin famously for a long time looked at what are we spending over two years? Let's score that over 10 years, even though it's really only two years in the bill, what would that cost.
Jason Smith and Lindsey Graham at the House and Senate budget committee on the Republican side of the aisle produced an estimate saying now it's close to 4 or 5 trillion. Manchin seemed to go with that. That is of course, part of what stalled the package in November and December after House passage. Manchin very famously stalls out these negotiations, goes on the press, disavows the bill, walks away from it around Christmas time, just a few days after telling the White House that there was a package that he could support and laying out what that looked like.
Then for several months we were in this holding path and people would keep talking about. Those of us on the outside, who are consultants and commentators like you and me, staff, members themselves of the Senate and House to say nothing of the administration kept talking about this and acting as if they wanted to revisit this negotiation. Of course, eventually they did and so we got into late spring and early summer and talk started coming back around a little bit more.
In the wake of now several other pieces of legislation, we did the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill last year. The spring, we spent a lot of time talking about China competition legislation, ultimately that became law in the form of the CHIPS Plus Science Bill. It's around that time that these discussions between Manchin and Schumer really bore fruit and brought us back to a much smaller scale package that really came together very quickly, in part because it was mostly composed of policies either from the November pass bill, even though again, it was smaller.
A lot of that stuff had been pretty well baked, or various other sources. I would say it was, at least from the perspective big on the outside, a very long exhausting process, but one that again, ultimately bore fruit in the form of this bill that became law just a few days ago.
JB: It certainly came together quickly there in the end. I know a lot of our viewers still don't really know all the things that are in it. It's taken a while for people to go through and fully understand what's in the bill. Can you describe at a high level what's in this package? Then we'll get down into some specifics on energy.
JS: Yeah. I mean, I'll certainly try. I think a challenge is that a lot of people think of it as based on concepts from the November pass bill and they think about scale and scope. A lot of the people I talk to, their entry point for the bill is, oh, hundreds of billions of dollars of tax increases and then a lot of spending. It is those things, but it's a lot of other things too.
Starting on the revenue side, because that's my background and because I think that's where a lot of people enter the bill, the bill does raise more than $700 billion in new revenue and that comes... Or I guess I should say $700 billion in combined revenue and then spending reduction. The spending reduction is the prescription drug reform piece that raises between 2 and 300 billion through Medicare negotiating drug prices and a number of other related reforms.
The remaining of 4 or 500 billion, I mean, that's tax policies. What we have at the end of the day there is we have the big centerpiece new tax policy is this book minimum tax or book alternative minimum tax. A 15% domestic tax on the SEC filing, the accounting filing, the financial statement income of corporations who are covered, who qualify. To qualify for the tax to be covered by it, they look to your income.
If you're a corporation that's earned a billion dollars in three consecutive years, you're covered by the tax. Or if you're a foreign-owned corporation that's earned more than a hundred million dollars, then you're covered by the tax in three consecutive years. Again, what it does is it looks at your financial statement income and compares that to your tax income.
If the 15% of your financial statement income subject to a lot of different mechanisms and calculations exceeds your tax income, then you're going to pay all or some of the difference of that. It works a lot like the old alternative minimum tax for individuals that some folks may be familiar with used to work.
JB: Is this going to impact a lot of companies?
JS: According to JCT, no. It's going to impact something like 150 companies. A tremendous portion of those by NAIC's code they're going to be manufacturers, but of course, that does include some people in the traditional energy industry. In fact, manufacturers pushed back pretty hard on some of these taxes, got some changes to them.
I'll try not to go too deep in the weeds, but basically, I mean, some of the big differences between financial statement income and tax income have to do with timing differences, things like cost recovery, depreciation. But then late in the process, Senator Sinema, thanks to some advocacy, in particular from manufacturers, pushed to have traditional depreciation carved out of the minimum tax. So you are able to count it in the same way you count it for tax purposes. You're generally able to count that for the minimum tax.
What's left? I mean, there are a bunch of quirky little things. Stock option compensation is one big example of something that is deductible for businesses under the tax code, but not under financial statement. All that said, this policy, I mean, it's going to take a lot of time to implement. It's going to take a lot of time for treasury to come up with regulations on. It's going to take time for companies to understand and learn how to live with. It's about a $200 billion raiser.
Most of the other provisions are a little more straightforward. There's now a 1% excise tax on stock buybacks for publicly traded corporations. That's a widely, I think pretty well understood proposal. A lot of people don't like it, of course, but it is well understood. That's a first-time thing. It's a new thing. That raises about 70 billion. There's a provision on excess limitation of non-business losses, which sounds wacky.
Basically what it means is that if you own business interests in two separate businesses, one has a gain, the other has a loss, there are limits on how much you can use the loss to eat up the gain. I mean, that's all that is. That's an extension of current law. It's actually a policy from TCJA 2017 that we used as an offset, as a base broadener to help lower rates. They extend that for another couple of years.
Then the other big piece is IRS enforcement. The way that works is folks have probably heard there's a $200 billion number associated with that. Really what happens is they are spending $80 billion and investing that in IRS resources and CBO on net says that raises 120, right? You spend 80, you raise 200 gross, minus the 80 you spent, that's 120 net. All those pieces together are the revenue pieces of the package.
There's also Superfund, which I think we may come back to in a minute. That's about $10/15 billion. That's what we raise. Where do they spend that? Well, I mean, there are two big buckets. One bucket is ACA premium tax credit extension, that is subsidies associated with the Affordable Care Act exchange marketplaces. That's a several hundred billion dollar item in Manchin's tenure scoring since. It's a little more affordable than that in this bill, because they only did it over three years. Under their accounting, it's I think a little less than a hundred billion.
The big chunk of what's left is mostly I think what we're concerned with and what we're interested in talking about today, which is energy-related policy, both some spending policies, but also a ton of tax incentives developed through the Ways and Means Committee, the finance committee structured through the tax code, extensions and expansions of old energy-related incentives and a lot of new stuff as well. That really is the bill.
What's not in the bill? A lot of things that were discussed and thought about for a long time. Corporate rate increases are not in the bill, international tax reforms that had adverse implications for a number of people in the energy industry are not in the bill, a windfall profits tax, that's not in the bill, carried interest, which was in a late version of the bill, ended up being out.
We can spend a lot of time talking about carried interest just by itself, although I don't know that that's going to be fruitful for us. SALT issues are not in the bill. The 3.8% net investment income tax increase, not in the bill, surtaxes on millionaires and billionaires, not in the bill. All this stuff that had been on the table for a long time ended up out. Hopefully that makes some sense, but it's a big bill to try and digest or summarize.
JB: No, it's a lot. No, thanks for walking us through that. If we could pivot to energy, can you tell us about what some of the provisions are, especially the ones that are important to the oil and gas industry?
JS: Yeah. I would break the energy provisions down into three separate buckets. I think there are a lot of ways to think about them and talk about them. The first bucket I'd say is extensions and expansions of prior law. You think about traditional tax extenders. You think about things like the Section 48 investment tax credit, which most people think of in the context of solar energy at 30% ITC per solar, think about things like the Section 45 production tax credit, which most people think of in the context of wind.
Although each of those policies also contains several other technologies and resources that are eligible for those credits. There are a number of other incentives for investment, production, for fuels, alternative fuels, which were extended, in some cases expanded, slightly modified, tweaked. A second bucket to think about there is new policies and in particular, the new policies like the new policy world focused on renewables.
Senator Wyden, who's the chairman of the finance committee, the Democratic chairman, has had this regime in mind for a long time about a technology-neutral credit regime instead of the hodgepodge of different credits and incentives we have now. A version of that tech-neutral approach, tech-neutral investment credit, tech-neutral production credit, tech-neutral fuels credits, all those are in the bill. They don't kick in for a couple of years, but they are in the bill. That really is its own thing.
I would say the third bucket is new policies or really dramatic reinventions and expansions to old policies that affect the traditional energy industry. There I'd think about things like the really significant expansion for the Section 45 cap Q carbon capture and sequestration credit. I think about the new credit for hydrogen production. I think about the expansion of the investment tax credit to include energy storage that does incorporate in a small way hydrogen.
There are a number of those things as well, but again, there are a lot of ways to talk about this and I think a lot of ways to think about it.
JB: That 45Q tax credit, obviously that's been a big topic for the oil and gas industry, hydrogen to an extent as well and storage. Those are all things that are important from the decarbonization perspective as companies make commitments to lower their carbon footprint. Can you talk about that 45Q tax credit extension? What took place there and a little bit about the politics in that one?
JS: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, and so I would say that at a high level, the simplest way to describe the 45 cap Q extension is it's an increase of credit rate. It's an expansion of what's eligible to be covered and it's an extension in time of a prior expiration date that was set to hit and pushing out further the duration for which the credit can begin to be claimed. Those modifications are the result of several years of bipartisan work on 45 cap Q.
They're also not a first time in recent history that the credit has been modified. I want to say in two or three different pieces of legislation in the last decade since the credit has been initiated, it's been tweaked a little bit. I think we did some tweaks in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 which was a comparatively small bill relative to '17. I think at least one of the recent extenders bills, maybe December 2020, don't quote me though, I believe there were some tweaks to 45 cap Q in there as well.
They were small compared to what we're seeing here. But I think what that series reflects is that there's just tremendous interest from Congress really on both sides of the aisle in terms of getting this policy right, in terms of making it work for industry, making sure the incentives are aligned with congressional intent. I know a lot of people in the energy industry tend to think of an energy transition or talk about an energy transition and that carbon capture and sequestration is a big part of that.
This incentive I think demonstrates that Congress has really tried to think very carefully about that and is still listening for industry feedback about how it can be further improved. I don't think this is going to be the last bite at the apple either. I mean, without getting too deep in the weeds on expiration dates, a number of these policies, extensions, expansions, you name it, they have different expiration dates.
I haven't been through the bill top to bottom to compare every single one. There are a number of expirations beginning as soon as '24. Then in '25, a huge component of TCJA 2017 assessments expire. All that may drive additional consideration of tax policy, these and others. Those are both likely to be opportunities and there are other opportunities down the horizon for Congress to come back in here, say, "Okay. What's working well? What should change? What can we improve?" It feels like that's likely to occur several times in the coming years.
JB: Yeah. The 45Q obviously I think there are a lot of carbon capture and sequestration projects that are depending on that moving forward. I think that was a very significant thing that took place in the bill. Overall I think the reaction from the industry, and it depends, I mean, on the size of the producer and where they are in the value chain, that is considered to be a mixed bag for industry.
I mean, you've got some things like that that were positive. You've got on the offshore side and the public land side, there are some interesting things. Requiring the interior department to submit leases from the last Gulf lease sale that were essentially canceled in court, so they're going to have to be submitted. There were so another lease sale, some lease sales that didn't occur in the last five-year plan.
Gulf lease sale 258 needs to occur by the end of the year. It's mandated by the end of this year. Lease sale 259, another Gulf lease sale by the end of March of next year and the Cook Inlet lease sale that was to be held. It has to be held by September of next year. That moves things forward where we didn't have any activity in the offshore, kind of moves forward.
Then it has a provision that says that the interior can't issue a wind or solar right of way on onshore federal lands, unless they've had a onshore oil and gas lease sale in the previous 120 days. Then offshore, they have a requirement that offshore wind lease can't be issued unless they've conducted an offshore oil and gas lease sale in the previous year that offered at least 60 million acres. Those are some things that I think people would look at as positive.
I mean, overall we've expected lease sales to happen and so things have been moving in not exactly the right direction, at least this puts forward future lease sales and there's language that requires lease sales to be offered in the future.
With that, can you talk a little bit more about the renewable energy provisions? I mean, obviously a lot of focus, this is considered to be a very big thing for the renewable and energy industry. Can you talk about the production tax credit and investment tax credit and some of the other provisions in there?
JS: Yeah, sure. I mean, and we've talked about them a little bit already. The production tax credit has been around for a long time. It tends to be a credit for a certain dollar amount per kilowatt hour of energy produced. You need to pick one if you're for the things that qualify for both, if you're putting property in service that produces electricity. For wind, again, which is the keynote policy, it has been a 2.50 cents per kilowatt hour credit in this bill, the full credit rate.
What makes it unusual is you place property in service and then you claim these production credits for a certain time horizon. That can be a little bit dependent on which provision you're dealing with. Every production credit has its own terms and its own conditions. Really is a hodgepodge of policies here, but for wind for example, you get those credits on a 10-year time horizon.
Now, one thing that is a little curious again, is I mentioned those Chairman Wyden new credits, technology-neutral credits. The runway really is not all that long on these renewable, the extensions of prior law for renewables. That's true with respect to the PTC. It's also true with respect to the ITC, which again is a 30% investment tax credit for most of the qualifying technologies.
A lot of those things require construction to begin before '25. Really, I mean, they function as one or two-year extensions in most cases. Then in '25, what this bill envisions is the Wyden tech-neutral credits coming into play. It is really difficult to understand and digest how that's going to work. Most of the time, the treasury department, when they're implementing a whole new regime like this, they need years to develop appropriate regulations.
They seek a lot of feedback from industry and from the experts. They talk about how this is going to function in practice. It may end up being a little bit challenging for that time horizon to come to fruition as anticipated by this bill. But again, the expiration dates themselves present an opportunity for Congress to reassess that if, for example, treasury is behind the curve on the regs. To me, that is the real high tension point on this topic.
We could talk a little bit about vehicles too, in this context, I guess. I know we're mostly focused on energy generation. I won't spend too much time on it, but a lot of folks are familiar with the Section 30 cap D electric vehicle credit. That credit for many years has had a 200,000 vehicle per manufacturer cap. So for the companies like Tesla, which were at the very forefront of the industry, they've reached that cap and had to stop offering the credit with respect to their vehicles.
This bill changes that. It eliminates the cap and really creates a wholesale reform for the electric vehicle industry in terms of a tax credit incentive. It's also going to be available at the point of sale for the first time. That's a big shift. However, there are some really strict new guidelines and new terms and conditions for that credit.
A lot of it has to do with where the sourcing comes from in terms of the raw materials that are used in the construction of the vehicles, and so supply chain issues. How much of the car are you really building in America? Where does the steel come from that you're using to make the car or the aluminum? Those are all things again where the regulatory implementation is going to be really significant.
But I get the sense that the automobile industry is looking at that set of policies with a lot of caution and with a lot of skepticism, and in some cases, I mean, they may actually be worse off than prior law in the short term. It's going to take some time, I think, for the regulations to come together, for supply chains to adjust and create the demand necessary for those raw materials.
That's certainly going to be something to watch as well, but hopefully that's a nice snapshot of some the renewable and decarbonization provisions of the bill.
JB: Oh, sure. It definitely is. There were also some provisions in the bill that you may not call taxes, but there are things that raise revenue or cause energy, specifically oil and gas companies to have to spend money. With that, I'm referring to there was language in there that raised the minimum royalty rate for onshore and offshore oil and gas production, and also increases the rental rates for onshore and offshore production.
Those are going to be... Essentially like taxes are going to increase the cost of doing business. There's also new surety bond requirements, which is something that I know it's been worked on over 10 years now, but surety bonds for decommissioning offshore. That's going to be an additional cost. Then there's this methane fee that's not a tax. It's referred to as a fee that's imposed on industry to be really... It's a way to penalize industry for methane leaks or venting and flaring.
That, I think the details... Like you were mentioning, a lot of these things need to be... The devil's in the details they need to work out. Then one thing that struck me was the Superfund tax, which I remember from years ago and it went away. Can you talk a little bit about that and why that's reemerged?
JS: Yeah. I think the Superfund tax expired in the mid-1990s, I think in trying to refresh myself around the concept... I think it was around '95 that it expired at its prior rate of, I want to say nine point something cents per barrel. It's been reinstated at a much higher rate of 16.40 cents per barrel and then that 16.40 cents is indexed for inflation. Superfund itself... I mean, and Jack, I wouldn't be surprised if you know more about Superfund than I do.
My sense is Superfund was designed as an excise tax on the one hand paired with a trust fund, which is a dynamic that recurs throughout the tax code in a lot of spaces, particularly in infrastructure investment. The concept is we wanted to use this fund for environmental cleanup. Really traditional environmentalism, less of the carbon emissions concern that we see a lot of today and more of just again, traditional environmental cleanup.
That was, I think the concept behind Superfund, really just reinstated the chemical component of the tax and another piece of legislation, I think in what's now called the IIJA, what was called the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, reinstated that component of the tax. This is the component of the tax that hits the traditional oil and gas industry, crude oil and imported petroleum products.
So lining this up with the chemical extension and restoring the source of revenue for the trust fund, but it is a tax on producers and importers of petroleum.
JB: Yep. Yep. Interesting. What I understand is that the Democratic leadership has made promises to Senator Manchin that there's going to be permitting reform legislation that they've guaranteed, I believe the passage of a package that includes prioritizing certain projects and permitting the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which is in Appalachia. How does that work? I mean, there's no budget reconciliation mechanism for it to be part of, and it might not have qualified for that, so how does that guarantee happen? What are we looking at here?
JS: Well, I mean, I think that's exactly right, Jack, and you've hit the nail on the head. If they could have done that provision the substance of it in reconciliation, they would've done it here. That's clearly what Senator Manchin was hoping for. That's not what happened, right? What that reflects is they probably can't use reconciliation for this moving forward. We could talk a while about the Byrd rule, which is the test for extraneous material that's not related to the budget process, taxes spending or fiscal policy.
Really policies that are more regulatory in nature. That's what knocks it out here. What that means is you're going to need 60 votes in the Senate for anything legislative in this space, which at least in the current environment means needing at least 10 Republican votes. Of course, that may change in November's election one way or another.
What that means is although Republicans feel a little bit burned, I think, by the process here, by the speed of it, by the partisan nature of it, by the fact that it didn't really go through regular order, particularly in the Senate, there are, I think it's fair to say, some raw feelings perhaps, and some criticisms that exist, a little bit of a fraying along the traditional lines of bipartisan communication and collaboration when it comes to legislation, all of which are likely to make something like this pretty tricky in the next few months.
Having said that, permitting reform of the category we're discussing. I mean, it's a set of policies that would tend to appeal to a number of Republicans currently in the Senate. This is a space where a lot of them are interested in doing some work and that's some of the political tension here is, can we move past the way in which the reconciliation bill was done to work on some policies that we all like together?
One interesting quirk I'd offer here is that around the time Manchin started talking about this concept being promised this next vehicle, there was some substance that leaked out a little bit and it wasn't just exclusive to pipelines and it wasn't just exclusive to the energy industry. There were some things in there about water rights and above and beyond that, when we talked about the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, IIJA, the reality is that in modern America permitting and regulatory hurdles are affecting how we build everything, from skyscrapers to train lines.
As that bill is looking to make significant investments in infrastructure, might that have an impact as well on the permitting reform discussion? I think that's an interesting question that hasn't been explored yet. All that, I mean, to me suggests that we may actually be trying to have this discussion about permitting reform over the next few months and perhaps years.
JB: Very interesting. It's going to be very interesting politically, because it does put Republicans in a strange position and we've got these national priorities for best national priorities lists that would be created. Yeah, it is a very interesting position that it puts Republicans in. Looking forward, what are some of the issues that you see?
I mean, you set this up with looking at this overall discussion about permitting an infrastructure, but what are some of the things that you see from the tax policy perspective that aren't resolved and we look to seeing in the future?
JS: The really big thing to me, and we've talked about it a little bit as well, is the expiration dates. It's that transition over the tech-neutral set of credits. It's the general expiration of a number of tax policies, revenue and incentive at the end of 2025. This bill again creates a number of new expiration dates over the course of the next decade. There are provisions in this bill that expire in 2032. I mean, that creates a lot of need for resolution.
Congress has a habit of latching onto those deadlines and not just extending, but also modifying, reforming, tweaking, using that as a vehicle to make other policies. To me, I mean, that's the really big unfinished component of all this. You could throw the ACA premium tax credits in there as well. Above and beyond that I think the way the revenue policies are implemented is another, I mean, potentially huge unfinished item.
The stock buybacks tax is pretty straightforward. The IRS funding is fairly straightforward. The minimum tax is not straightforward. As treasury looks to implement that, how it's implemented, how the regulations come down. I mean, that may create a number of new issues that need to be, or that Congress may want to resolve. There are also the things left on the cutting room floor, like the international reforms, which many people would argue were intended to help the United States line up with the multilateral agreement at the OECD to which more than a hundred nations are part, right?
That issue is not entirely likely to go away anytime soon either and is another big unresolved issue. Plenty of room left for Congress to keep coming back to the space and the space is contemplated and touched by this bill and continue to do work and to legislate, but this was I mean a pretty significant piece of legislation here in this Congress.
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