This is the latest installment of highlights of PCA’s “This Week in Washington” update. Interested in seeing more? Become an ACPA Advocacy Interest Member.* Advocacy Interest Members are eligible to participate in the Legislative Issues Committee (LIC). Click here to join!
- At the Democratic party’s second Presidential debates on July 31 and August 1, there were some common signs of agreement. The candidates expressed support for bringing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, significant economic changes with measures to help workers transition, and trillions of dollars of federal investment in technology and infrastructure.
- Following the U.S. Senate’s passage of the Bipartisan Budget Actof 2019 (by a vote of 67 to 28), the bill was signed by President Donald Trump on August 2. The two-year budget deal sets spending levels, prevents $125 billion in automatic funding cuts, and extends the debt ceiling.
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a proposal to amend requirements for storing and handling coal ash for beneficial reuse. Instead of raising the current 12.4-ton beneficial use storage threshold to address a math error in the current rule (raised by PCA and others in prior comments), EPA is proposing to replace the beneficial use exception with generic, location-based standards and risk-based containment requirements. Once the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register, there will be a 60-day comment period.
- President Trump announced on August 1 that he will impose a 10% tariff on some $300 billion worth of Chinese goods starting September 1. This expansion mostly covers consumer goods.
- The Federal Reserve announced a quarter-point point cut to the federal funds rate on July 31. The rate is what banks and other similar institutions charge one another for short-term borrowing. Central banks in other countries also have cut interest rates, a sign of monetary policy easing.
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