U.S. 2016 Election Debate Wrap-Up

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U.S. election 2016 - Debate wrap Analysts: Julie Chariell, Rob Barnett, Cheryl Wilson, Caitlin Webber, Tiffany Young, Nathan Dean, Dan Barry, Brian Rye, Brad Barker & Nick Taborek

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GOP’s business platform still hard to define after second debate

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With 15 candidates on the debate stage Sept. 16, divergent views exceeded harmonious ones and kept businesses uncertain about the implications of a Republican White House in 2017. A few areas of consensus define the most likely policy shifts, including increased defense and border spending, environmental de-regulation, Obamacare repeal and, by the fact it wasn’t debated, more limited financial reform. Still, the candidates differ on approaches to taxation, China, the Iran Nuclear deal and marijuana legalization.

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Republican president would likely reverse Obama energy policies

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Oil, natural gas and coal producers may see a more favorable political climate under a Republican president. Whether considering climate-change rules, the Keystone pipeline or oil exports, the field of Republican candidates say they would reverse course on many policies supported by President Barack Obama. Other than a brief discussion of climate-change regulations toward the end of the Sept. 16 Republican presidential debate, U.S. energy and environmental policies were barely discussed.

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Iran deal as target of GOP presidential hopefuls highlights risk

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The second Republican presidential debate showed the political risks companies face if they become early entrants in a post-nuclear-deal Iran. With the exception of Ohio Governor John Kasich, the party’s leading contenders said they would exit the deal and reimpose sanctions if elected. Renewing U.S. sanctions waived under the deal would raise the specter of punitive fines and restricted access to the U.S. banking system for global energy and financial-services companies that have invested in Iran.

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Carried interest tax benefit will be at risk starting in 2017

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Private-equity and hedge-fund managers may face a $17.7 billion tax increase over 10 years on their carried interest income whether a Democrat or a Republican becomes president in 2017. Donald Trump, currently the leading Republican presidential candidate, repeated his support for raising taxes on carried interest during the Sept. 16 Republican debate. Republican candidate Jeb Bush and three out of five Democratic candidates, including Hillary Clinton, have also said they support such a tax increase.

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Dearth of Dodd-Frank in debate doesn’t mean repeal drive’s end

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Dodd-Frank repeal remains an important topic for Republican presidential candidates despite limited mentions in the party’s second debate. Several candidates, including Senators Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham, have said they would repeal or tweak the financial regulation. Candidates are concerned with the rule’s impact on small community banks and access for small business capital. While no one pushed a proposal during the Sept. 16 debate, candidates may announce more specific policies as campaigns progress.

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Republican presidential candidates committed to Obamacare repeal

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The 11 candidates in the second major Republican presidential debate have expressed support for repealing the Affordable Care Act in its entirety, though only a few have offered specific replacement plans. An issue that wasn’t discussed in the Sept. 16 debate -- prescription drug prices -- could very well surface as a topic in the first Democratic debate on Oct. 13, as candidate Bernie Sanders supports legislation giving the federal government price-negotiation authority for Medicare’s prescription drug program.

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Republican candidate border-spending push may aid surveillance

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Republican presidential candidates continued emphasizing the need for increased spending on border security, drones and fingerprinting technology during their Sept. 16 debate. The high cost of deporting undocumented immigrants and building a wall would likely temper proposals for a large influx of spending on a border wall or high-tech surveillance. Contractors with existing border-surveillance and electronicverification projects could gain incremental revenue from a Republican White House win in 2016.

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