RNC votes to limit primary debates
The Republican National Committee on Friday moved to seize control of the presidential primary debates in 2016, overwhelmingly passing a measure that would penalize any presidential candidate who participates in a debate not sanctioned by the national party, by limiting their participation in subsequent committee-sanctioned forums. It represents the party's effort to reduce the number of debates and assert control over how they are staged. The measure affects only debates as candidates vie for the GOP nomination; the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates will still have final say on the elections between the Republican and Democratic nominees during the general election campaign.
House OKs business tax credit
The House voted to make permanent a tax credit that rewards businesses for investing in research and development, pushing Congress toward an election-year showdown over a series of expired tax breaks that are popular back home but add billions to the budget deficit.
The credit expired at the beginning of the year, along with more than 50 other temporary tax breaks that Congress routinely extends. House Republicans said the vote was the beginning of a broader effort to add more certainty to the tax code. Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said, "Businesses cannot grow and invest when the tax code is riddled with instability and uncertainty."
Some House Democrats called it a corporate giveaway that would add $156 billion to the budget deficit over the next decade. They goaded Republicans for calling themselves fiscal conservatives while adding so much to the nation's long-term debt. "It's not only fiscally irresponsible, it's also hypocritical," said Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich.