Senate Impeachment Trial Of President Trump
Representative Richard Neal, a Democrat from Massachusetts, speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. Senators will spend the next two days grilling President Donald Trump's defense team and House impeachment managers, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell trying to salvage his plans for a quick trial, which hinge on a pivotal vote on witnesses that could be held Friday. Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg
Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass.
The Ways and Means Committee chairman is the most influential advocate for municipal bonds in Congress. Neal is expected to remain the most influential advocate for tax-advantaged bonds in Congress if Democrats keep majority control of the House in the November election.

Neal, a former mayor of Springfield, recently won a hard-fought Democratic primary and does not face a Republican challenger on the November ballot.

Neal’s committee was responsible for the municipal bond provisions in the Moving America Forward Act which is expected to be the House Democrats’ template for infrastructure development in the next Congress.

The legislation includes a revision in the definition of bank-qualified bonds, a new program of $30 billion for qualified school infrastructure bonds and create direct-pay Qualified Infrastructure Bonds which would start with a federal 42% subsidy for interest expenses.
Senate Commerce Committee Hearing On FCC Oversight
Senator Roger Wicker, a Republican from Missouri and chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, speaks during a hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, June 24, 2020. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has increasingly scrutinized Chinese companies as tensions grow between Beijing and Washington over trade, the coronavirus and security issues. Photographer: Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post/Bloomberg
Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss.
Wicker chairs the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.
Wicker and Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, who is senior Democrat on the Finance Committee, are lead sponsors of a bill to restore tax-exempt advance refunding of municipal bonds.

Wicker also is the co-author with Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo. of bipartisan legislation to restore direct-pay bonds for financing infrastructure.

The Wicker-Bennet American Infrastructure Bonds Act would provide a 35% federal subsidy to taxable bonds from the date of enactment through 2026, when the subsidy would drop to an estimated revenue-neutral rate of 28%.
Impeachment Trial Of President Trump Begins In The Senate
Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.
This Michigan Democrat is a member of the Senate Finance Committee and the lead co-sponsor with Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., of a bipartisan bill to restore the tax exemption for advance refunding.

Stabenow's municipal finance experience includes service as a county commissioner and in both chambers of the Michigan Legislature. She doesn't face re-election until 2024.
2020 Presidential Candidates Speak At Urgent Gun Safety Forum
Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo.
Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo.
Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., is the co-author with Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., of bipartisan legislation to restore direct-pay bonds for financing infrastructure.

The Wicker-Bennet American Infrastructure Bonds Act would provide a 35% federal subsidy to taxable bonds from the date of enactment through 2026, when the subsidy would drop to an estimated revenue-neutral rate of 28%.

The legislation would allow state and local governments to issue taxable bonds for any public purpose expenditure that is eligible to be financed with tax-exempt bonds.

The new direct-pay bonds would be an improvement from the Build America Bonds that were authorized under the 2009 Americans Recovery and Reinvestment Act because they would be exempt from the sequestration reductions that have plagued the BABs program.

Bennet, who serves on the Senate Finance Committee, is a former superintendent of the Denver public school system who does not face re-election until 2022.

Bennet also is an original co-sponsor with Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, of the bipartisan Carbon Capture Improvement Act. If more than 65% of carbon dioxide emissions from a given facility are captured and injected underground, 100% of the eligible equipment could be financed with tax-exempt private activity bonds. If less than 65% is captured and sequestered, then tax-exempt financing is permitted on a prorated basis.
House Intelligence Committee Report On Chinese Telecom Companies
Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md.
Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md.
Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland serves as Democratic co-chair of the bipartisan Municipal Finance caucus.

Ruppersberger and Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, are the lead House sponsors of the Investing in Our Communities Act, H.R. 2772, to reinstate tax-exempt advance refunding which is the top legislative priority of municipal finance groups.

Ruppersberger is a former Baltimore County executive who served in local government for 17 years.
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Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio
Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio
The one House Republican who does make our list is Rep. Steve Stivers of Ohio, who serves with Democratic Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland as bipartisan co-chairs of the Municipal Finance caucus.

The duo are the lead House sponsors of the Investing in Our Communities Act, H.R. 2772, to reinstate tax-exempt advance refunding, which is the top legislative priority of municipal finance groups.
House Intelligence Committee Holds Hearing On Impeachment Inquiry Of President Trump
Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala.
Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala.
Reps. Terri Sewell, D-Ala., is the lead sponsor, along with Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., of a bill that would increase to $30 million from the current $10 million the amount of tax-exempt bonds that individual local governments or nonprofits can issue and still qualify to sell debt to banks under favorable terms as bank-qualified.

Sewell, who is a bond attorney, serves on Ways and Means Committee.

Her Municipal Bond Market Support Act is one of the provisions in the House-passed Moving America Forward Act.

Sewell also is one of the lead cosponors of a bill that would raise the limit on tax-exempt private activity bonds used for surface transportation and freight improvement projects by $5.8 billion. The current volume cap of $15 billion has nearly reached its limit.
GOP Rolls Out $1 Trillion Stimulus To Start Talks With Democrats
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas
In late 2017 Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, publicly opposed the House proposal to abolish the tax exemption for private activity bonds. He deserves credit for that.

Cornyn, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, is continuing his advocacy for PABs as a lead sponsor of a proposal to raise the federal cap on surface transportation and freight improvement projects by $5.8 billion.

The current volume cap of $15 billion on PABs issued for highways and freight improvement has nearly reached its limit. Cornyn’s proposed Building United States Infrastructure and Leveraging Development (BUILD) Act has bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.
Senate Leadership Hold News Conference Following Weekly Caucus Meetings
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., is a member of the Senate Finance Committee and a former governor of Virginia.

He is a lead cosponsor with Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, of the Building United States Infrastructure and Leveraging Development (BUILD) Act which would raise the federal cap on tax-exempt private activity bonds used for surface transportation and freight improvement projects by $5.8 billion.

The current volume cap of $15 billion has nearly reached its limit.
House Ways And Means Hearing On Long-Term Financing Of Highway Trust Fund
Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., is a lead sponsor of the BUILD Act in the House along with Reps. Terri Sewell, D-Ala.; Mike Kelly, R-Pa.; and Rodney Davis, R-Ill.

This bipartisan bill would raise the federal cap on tax-exempt private activity bonds issued for surface transportation and freight improvement projects by $5.8 billion.

Blumenauer is a member of both the Ways and Means Committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure Commitee.
Trade Representative Lighthizer Testifies To Senate Finance Committee On Trade Agenda
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., leads our list of horable mentions.
Honorable mention
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., leads our list of honorable mentions, which also includes: Senators Rob Portman, R-Ohio; Todd Young, R-Ind.; Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.: Tim Scott, R-SC.; Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev. and Reps. Mike Kelly, R-Pa.; Tom Reed, R-N.Y.; Suzane DelBene, D-Wash.; Gwen Moore, D-Wis.
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