American Society of Magazine Editors

A Packed Legislative Agenda Predicted Following Election

Despite unfinished work and deadlines fast approaching, Congress has left town for the traditional August recess.  When they return on September 10th, the Senate and the House will have only a few short weeks to try and complete the business left unfinished before recessing again and hitting the campaign trail in early October.

While legislators were able to complete a continuing appropriations resolution to avoid a pre-Election Day government shutdown before adjourning, it is highly unlikely that any serious legislating will occur before Election Day.  More likely is an action-packed “lame duck” period when Congress returns after the election in November. Most pressing on the agenda is avoidance of the looming “fiscal cliff” – a potent combination of expiring tax cuts and large automatic reductions in domestic spending and defense programs required by the failed Supercommittee debt agreement of September 2011.

Though the election results will largely dictate what happens in the lame duck, legislators undoubtedly will be tempted to merely “punt” the fiscal issues into 2013 via a series of temporary deadline extensions.  However, Congressional efforts during the lame duck to deal substantively with “fiscal cliff” issues could well bring into play serious issues of concern to the magazine industry (such as advertising expense tax deductibility, and postal reform), so MPA’s Washington office expects to be on full alert until New Year’s Eve.