In these final weeks of 2020, NCBA’s advocacy efforts have not slowed down in any way. Below are several areas of interest that we and our DC consultants have been engaged in:
MAI/Independence of the Practice of Law Task Force
NCBA will have a forward-facing cohesive strategy on this critical issue and is pleased to report the formation of the MAI/Independence of the Practice of Law (IPL) Task Force. This small but nimble group will fall under the Advocacy Pillar and be led by Co-Chairs, Barb Nilsen, Blitt & Gaines, and Brit Suttell, Barron & Newburger, PC, with Amy Mertz Brown, Gurstel Law Firm P.C., Eileen Bitterman, Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co. L.P.A., and Tomio Narita, Simmonds & Narita, LLP as members. This group is tasked with guiding NCBA’s three-pronged strategy (Legislative, Regulatory and Judicial) on protecting the independence of the practice of law and against the codification of the flawed meaningful attorney involvement doctrine.
CFPB Activity & Engagement
We expect Part II of the rules to come out tomorrow, Friday, afternoon. NCBA has a call with the Director that morning and we scheduled a webinar for members on December 22 at 12:00 p.m. ET to go over the new rules.
As part of NCBA’s continued CFPB engagement, we were pleased to be invited to participate on a private call with the CFPB’s Markets and Regulation Debt Collection team this past Friday. The CFPB was interested in hearing our feedback and comments on implementing the October Debt Collection Final Rule with particular focus on the Limited Content Message. NCBA leaders and staff participated on the hour-long call where we were able to outline issues, challenges, and concerns with implementation. The Bureau asked NCBA to reach out and keep a dialogue going as other questions arise.
Proposed Relief Package Would Overturn Mnuchin on PPP Tax Issue
As noted, if the negotiations continue and a stimulus package passes it is expected that language would be included to overturn a Treasury Department decision denying a tax cut to businesses that have had government loans forgiven.
A couple of weeks ago NCBA provided an advocacy tool for our members to advocate for this change, as it would affect many of the NCBA member firms that took PPP loans. To date, these grass roots efforts have resulted in close to 700 letters sent to legislators asking for this important clarification.
The $908 billion coronavirus relief package under consideration has bipartisan support and would make “business expenses paid for with the proceeds of [Paycheck Protection Program] loans…tax deductible, consistent with Congressional intent in the CARES act.” Secretary Mnuchin however continues to push back on this necessary fix.
"Top lawmakers vowed that they would not head home for the year until they pass a coronavirus relief deal, the strongest signal yet that Congressional leaders are on the verge of breaking the months-long stimulus stalemate. Congress has not passed a significant new round of aid since April," they write.
"The leaders met for more than two hours over the course of two meetings. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also joined by phone. Government funding expires on Friday, so negotiators could buy more time with another stop-gap spending bill if talks drag out."
"The discussion on Tuesday centered mostly on topline numbers and what components will go in the year-end deal, according to a source familiar. Congressional leaders are hoping to attach their coronavirus deal to a massive omnibus bill that would extend government funding beyond the current Friday deadline."
"The meetings were the first meaningful conversation between all four party leaders — known on Capitol Hill as the 'four corners' — in months. The outreach comes with the window quickly closing to reach a much-needed agreement before lawmakers are scheduled to depart for the holidays at the end of this week."
We will continue to engage and monitor these items and update you as more information becomes available.
Thank you for your continued support for NCBA advocacy!
Happy Holidays! Stay healthy and safe!