PRG’s 2016 Post-Election Analysis Report

The 2016 election results have significant implications for companies across a wide range of industry sectors. From environmental policy to financial services to tax reform, President-elect Trump has committed to sweeping action on a variety of fronts, and will have a Republican-controlled House and Senate to work with on priority issues. Nevertheless, the GOP-led Senate is not filibuster-proof, and many of the finer points of Trump’s agenda remain unclear. Accordingly, it is important for interested stakeholders to begin thinking through how their own priorities will track with the next President and Congress.

The Policy Resolution Group at Bracewell LLP (PRG) has prepared this post-election report to identify some of the key issues slated for action in Washington next term. Our team of lobbyists, lawyers and strategic communications professionals combines decades of experience working on these issues in the private sector, on Capitol Hill and at federal agencies—and stands ready to help our clients make sure their voices are heard by policymakers and the public.

Among the contents of the Policy Resolution Group’s Post-Election Analysis Report are:

  • PRG’s 2016 Post-Election Webinar
  • PRG’s Post-Election Updates
    • Energy
    • Environment
    • Tax
    • Appropriations & Budget
    • Trade
    • Consumer Protection
    • Financial Services
  • PRG’s Post-Election Video Analyses & Podcasts
    • “Election Day Takeaways and What to Expect in the Trump Presidency”
    • “Outlook for the Clean Power Plan and Other Environmental Issues”
    • “Outlook for Energy Policy”
    • “Thoughts from a Former Senator”
    • “Trade and Tax Policy After the Election”

2016 Post-Election Webinar

Watch the complete webinar, recorded on November 9, below:

 

The complete slide deck for the webinar can be found at here.


Post-Election Updates

ENERGY

By Scott Segal, Dee Martin, and Salo Zelermyer

Although there was almost zero discussion of energy policy in the presidential debates, President-elect Donald Trump frequently cited energy policy as a cornerstone of his plans to grow the U.S. economy.

While the dust settles on this historic election and as Americans await the inauguration of their new President, those interested in energy policy can expect that questions about energy infrastructure, the power sector, the transportation sector and upstream production will be hotly debated in Washington during 2017.

(Read the complete analysis here.)

 

ENVIRONMENT

By Scott Segal, Frank Maisano, and Salo Zelermyer

From the clean energy components of the stimulus to the Paris Climate Agreement, President Obama staked a significant amount of his legacy on actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. How instrumental was opposition to these actions in electing Donald Trump? It is hard to say at this stage but President-elect Trump’s message of rolling back federal regulations—specifically, environmental regulations—that have stifled economic growth may have been one key factor in turning major portions of the “Rust Belt” from blue to red. Our expectation is that loosening regulatory restrictions on all aspects of the energy sector is likely to be an early and constant core element of Trump’s domestic policy agenda.

Against this backdrop, those interested in environmental policy should look at four key issues: the Clean Power Plan and climate policy; methane emissions and shale; appliance standards; and pipeline approvals.

(Read the complete analysis here.)

 

TAX

By Curt Beaulieu

After a decade of discussion and debate, the election of Donald Trump makes it likely that substantive tax reform will finally occur in the next two years or sooner. Congressional tax-writing committees are now forming, and tax reform proposals have now been put forward by a group of House Republicans, and both Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR). The timing of legislation will depend on how fast the Trump administration wants to move tax reform forward.

(Read the complete analysis here.)

 

APPROPRIATIONS & BUDGET

By Ed Krenik and John Lee

With a government funding deadline looming on December 9, 2016, Congress will have its fair share of work to do upon its return after the national elections. The following is a review of the current Continuing Resolution (CR) passed in September, how Congress might decide to fund the government moving forward, and potential leadership changes in the 115th Congress for the Appropriations Committee.

(Read the complete analysis here.)

 

TRADE

By Gene Godley, Paul Nathanson, and Josh Zive

The 2016 elections featured the most focus on U.S. international trade policy since 1992. President-elect Donald Trump placed harsh criticisms of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and China and made international trade the center of his economic agenda.

With Trump’s victory it is safe to say that the political environment on trade issues is more volatile than it has been in decades. As the international trade community prepares for President-elect Trump and the new Congress a few issues are front and center.

(Read the complete analysis here.)

 

CONSUMER PROTECTION

By Ed Krenik, Paul Nathanson, and John Lee

Donald Trump’s win on Election Day will greatly change the composition of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), as the change from a Democratic administration to a Republican administration means the commission will eventually have a new chairman as well as a majority of Republican commissioners. Additionally, the Republican majority in the Senate will ensure that oversight over the agency’s rulemaking activities remains a top priority.

(Read the complete analysis here.)

 

FINANCIAL SERVICES

By George Felcyn and Josh Zive

As President-elect Trump prepares to assume office in January, many questions have been raised about what kind of approach he will take in key policy areas, a result of the relative lack of specific proposals that emerged during his campaign. What’s in store for Wall Street and financial reform remains one of the larger unknowns about a Trump administration. Let’s examine a few clues that suggest how a Trump administration will handle this area of policy.

(Read the complete analysis here.)


Post-Election Video Analyses & Podcasts

2016 ELECTION: ELECTION DAY TAKEAWAYS AND WHAT TO EXPECT IN THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY

Dee Martin and Scott Segal, co-heads of Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group, discuss their reactions to the surprising results of the 2016 elections and what to expect during the first 100 days of a Trump administration.

 

2016 ELECTION: OUTLOOK FOR THE CLEAN POWER PLAN AND OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

Scott Segal, co-head of Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group, and Jeff Holmstead, head of the Environmental Strategies Group at Bracewell, discuss how the next President and Congress will confront issues such as climate change, the Clean Power Plan, and other environmental regulations.

 

2016 ELECTION: OUTLOOK FOR ENERGY POLICY

Dee Martin, co-head of Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group, and Salo Zelermyer, a partner in Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group, discuss what the results of the election may mean for oil and gas, renewable energy, and fuels.

 

2016 ELECTION: THOUGHTS FROM A FORMER SENATOR

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, senior counsel at Bracewell and a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Senate, discusses her reactions to the 2016 election results.

 

TRADE AND TAX POLICY AFTER THE ELECTION

Josh Zive, Paul Nathanson and Curt Beaulieu, of Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group, chat about tax and trade policy following the results of the 2016 election. Take a listen to PRG’s first The Lobby Shop podcast.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Register Now for PRG’s Award-Winning Post-Election Webinar

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Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group will be offering its award-winning political and policy analysis of the 2016 elections through a mix of webinars, written, and video materials. Please join Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group for this complimentary webinar featuring analysis by our lobbyists, attorneys and strategic communications professionals. On tap: Our team of insiders, attorneys, and industry-leading professionals will give you the “morning after” take on how the election results will affect the business community—with a focus on energy and the environment, what’s in store for the lame duck session, leadership changes and more.

Wednesday, November 9
10:30 am – 11:30 am ET

Click here to register.

The PRG team will also be live tweeting on election night, November 8, at @PolicyRez.

PRG’s Salo Zelermyer Pens Op-Ed for Washington Jewish Week

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Salo Zelermyer, partner with the Policy Resolution Group, wrote an Op-Ed for Washington Jewish Week titled One Weekend, Two Profound Losses on July 27, 2016.

The Op-Ed reflects on the passing of Elie Wiesel, renowned author, Nobel Laureate, and Holocaust survivor, and Max Ticktin, professor of Yiddish and Hebrew literature at George Washington University, both of whom passed away within the span of two days.

Salo writes, “Like so many others, I treasured both Wiesel and Max. Their absence will leave a deep hole in my consciousness that will likely never be filled. I’m sorry to say that I don’t have a profound revelation about why God called them home on the same weekend. I can only suspect that perhaps, at last, the Great Teacher wanted the opportunity to learn from the very best of humanity.”

To read the complete Op-Ed, click here.

Bracewell Named Top Performing Lobbying/Law Firm of 2015 by Bloomberg Government

WASHINGTON, DC (Feb. 29, 2016) – Bracewell LLP was recognized as the top performing lobbying/law firm in 2015 by Bloomberg Government in its annual review of the best advocacy firms in Washington, DC. The review ranks the top 15 firms based on performance, growth, customer satisfaction and profitability.  Bracewell’s government relations and strategic communications practices are housed in the firm’s Policy Resolution Group (PRG).

The report noted that “Bracewell is the only firm to make Bloomberg Government’s top-performing lobbying/law firms list for the fourth time in a row. Earning the top spot on the 2015 rankings, Bracewell’s impressive year was reflected in its top five performances in four of the five criteria.” The ranking criteria include one-year client retention, three-year client retention, revenue growth, accretive growth and revenue per registered client.

“We are honored to be named the top performing lobbying/law firm by Bloomberg Government,” said Bracewell Partner Scott Segal, who also co-heads Bracewell’s PRG. “Bracewell’s PRG prides itself on the quality and consistency of its client service, and we are very proud of the fact that our top ranking is in part based on ‘customer satisfaction’ and client retention.”

According to the report, the Bracewell PRG one-year client retention rate is 93% and its three-year client retention rate is 78%, placing it near the top of its class in each category.

“Bracewell is well known for many of its specialty practices and one of our most high profile and successful practices is the firm’s Policy Resolution Group,” said Bracewell Managing Partner Mark C. Evans. “It’s all part of the comprehensive services we offer clients – from traditional legal services to government relations and strategic communications.”

“Bracewell’s unique comprehensive service model and the fact that my colleagues in PRG and throughout the firm – our lobbyists, lawyers and strategic communications professionals – are the best in the business set us apart from the competition,” said Segal.

Formed in 2011, The Policy Resolution Group at Bracewell LLP helps clients around the world navigate our complex federal landscape, creating and implementing successful strategies to achieve our clients’ government relations objectives. The group provides counsel and services in Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, Information Gathering and Political Analysis, Strategic Communications and Legal Representation.

 

About Bracewell LLP

Bracewell LLP is a leading law and government relations firm serving the oil and gas, power, financial services, technology and public finance industries throughout the world. Our industry focus enables us to maintain cutting-edge experience and in-depth knowledge of the commercial, legal and regulatory challenges faced by our clients so that we can provide the most effective legal solutions to facilitate transactions and resolve disputes. For more information, visit www.bracewelllaw.com.

 

Contact:
Paul Nathanson
T: +1.202.828.1714
E: paul.nathanson@bracewelllaw.com

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PRG’s Scott Segal Interviewed by Bloomberg Government

Scott Segal points to a photo of his "first political moment": meeting Lyndon B. Johnson in Texas in 1971.
Scott Segal points to a photo of his “first political moment”: meeting Lyndon B. Johnson in Texas in 1971.

PRG Founding Partner Scott Segal was featured this week in a Bloomberg Government interview and profile piece. The interview explores the top policy issues of 2016, strategies for good negotiation, and “why lobbying might be the most patriotic of all Washington careers.”

Here is Segal’s answer to the question, The word ‘lobbying’ is often used as a pejorative – do you think lobbyists deserve better?:

“Lobbying is the only exercise that’s protected three different times by the U.S. Constitution – and if you do communications work, four times.

“I think the Founding Fathers would be very surprised to learn that lobbying is something that is looked down upon. They would have thought that lobbying is foreseeable as the government grew in size and complexity. The Library of Congress was established on the notion that it would provide Congress with all the information it needed to make decisions. And it must have been obsolete in six months, because information is not static, it rolls based on innovation in the marketplace.

“The lobbyist is almost like the honeybee of the Washington community. We pick up the information and distribute it from location to location until everybody has it and can make decisions accordingly. I don’t find it a distasteful occupation; I find it an absolutely essential one for the operation of the government. Information needs are too complex, and need to be satisfied too quickly, to expect that it will all just happen by chance.”

To read the rest of Bloomberg Government’s interview with Scott Segal, click here.

PRG’s Segal and Holmstead Weigh in on SCOTUS CPP Order

Today, PRG’s Scott Segal and Bracewell’s Jeff Holmstead weighed in on yesterday’s order by the Supreme Court to stay the Clean Power Plan, part of the Obama administration’s efforts to regulate emissions in order to combat global warming.

Here is a quote from the article, published in USA Today:

“Doubtlessly weighing on the minds of the Court was a 2015 Supreme Court casedealing with another Clean Air Act rule. In that case, known as Michigan v. EPA, the Court found the rule to be illegal, but the decision came after power plants had already been forced to spend tens of billions of dollars to comply with the rule and was too late to save dozens of coal-fired power plants that shut down because they couldn’t afford the cost. Then, after the Court ruled against EPA, a lower court allowed the rule to remain in effect — in part because so much compliance investment had already been made. Maybe this a case of ‘fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.'”

Click here to read the complete column.

PRG’s Curt Beaulieu Writes Piece on New Audit Rules for Tax Notes

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Curt Beaulieu, senior counsel with the Policy Resolution Group, wrote an article for Tax Notes titled New Audit Rules for Partnerships: Heartburn for MLPs on November 9.

In this article, Beaulieu analyzes the new audit rules for large partnerships and discusses how they will affect master limited partnerships.

To read the full article, click here.

PRG’s Maisano Lauded in Morning Consult Feature

On September 8, Morning Consult published a feature on PRG founding partner Frank Maisano titled Frank Maisano Earns His Media.

In addition to praising Maisano’s media relations expertise, the article highlights PRG’s unique strategic communications and policy approach, which “fuses policy wonkery with PR savvy.”

For the full article, click here.

PRG’s Scott Segal Featured in Coverage of EPA’s Clean Power Plan

This weekend, PRG founding partner Scott Segal was featured prominently in news coverage of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, which was formally adopted during a ceremony today with President Obama.

Here are some highlights of Segal’s contributions:

“‘The EPA still has created an untested foundation for the rule,’ said Scott Segal […] ‘It has tread upon established constitutional principles and undermined the sense of federalism that is essential to the Clean Air Act.'” – The Washington Post

“Twenty to 30 states were poised to join the energy industry in suing over the rule as soon as it’s formally published, said Scott Segal, a lobbyist with the firm Bracewell and Giuliani who represents utilities. The Obama administration has a mixed track record in fending off legal challenges to its climate rules. GOP leaders in Congress were also weighing various legislative maneuvers to try to block the rule.” – Associated Press

“‘State leaders are angry that EPA has finalized an unprecedented interference into state authority over energy regulation and markets, clearly inconsistent with statutory and Constitutional principles,’ Scott Segal, a lawyer at Bracewell & Giuliani in Washington, said in a research note Friday.” – Bloomberg

“Scott Segal, a lobbyist for utility companies that may be involved in litigation, said the revised rules could threaten the nation’s power system. ‘While the additional time to prepare plans and begin compliance are welcome — and a tacit acknowledgment of how unreasonable the original timelines were — the resulting federal mandate is dangerous,’ said Segal, who works with the firm Bracewell and Giuliani. ‘It still presents significant intrusions into state affairs, endangering consumers, manufacturers, hospitals, schools, and the very reliability of the system.'” – USA Today

“Scott Segal, an industry lobbyist with law firm Bracewell & Giuliani, said, ‘While the final rule reflects some concession from EPA on this point, it should be noted that the final rule remains a very difficult task over a very compressed time period.'” – EnergyWire

“Scott Segal […] said the new plan got worse during the drafting process. ‘They have made a proposed plan which strains the power system even more restrictive, calling for reliable and cost effective energy sources to be replaced by intermittent, costly sources largely incapable of meeting base load power needs in the U.S.,’ Segal said in a statement.” – The Washington Post

“Scott Segal, a partner at the Policy Resolution Group at the law firm Bracewell & Giuliani, which represents a number of clients in the coal and utility industry, criticized the new rules for being more stringent than the previous version. And while he welcomed the extensions for state compliance, he argued that the EPA deadlines are still ‘unrealistic’ and that the agency had not ‘addressed the fundamental legal flaws in its proposal.’ He said that a number of states and industry groups would likely challenge the rule in court ‘shortly after it is final.'” – Huffington Post

PRG’s Maisano in Morning Consult: “A Nuclear Renaissance”

PRG founding partner Frank Maisano has written an energy opinion piece for the Morning Consult newsletter, a daily online circulation that updates subscribers on the latest in finance, business, policy, and politics. Maisano’s article discusses the annual Nuclear Energy Assembly hosted by the Nuclear Energy Institute as well as the rapid development of the nuclear sector.

“Hundreds of nuclear energy industry leaders convened in the nation’s capital earlier this month for the Nuclear Energy Institute’s annual conference, the Nuclear Energy Assembly,” Maisano writes. “NEI came to discuss the technology’s future, packing the agenda with policy discussions on environment, trade, market and other issues with members of Congress and administration officials. It is an important time for the revitalization of the nuclear energy industry. Despite setbacks in Japan and Germany, significant progress is being made in the construction of five reactors in the southeast U.S. and nearly 70 reactors worldwide. Twenty-seven of the reactors are being built in China and South Korea, and the U.S. government is reauthorizing nuclear energy trade agreements with each.”

To read more, click here.