No matter what the type of organization, playing an active role in the political decision-making process and policy formation is no longer a luxury—it is an imperative.
A coronavirus pandemic (or even the threat of such a pandemic) could easily make it more difficult for parties to perform their obligations under many types of contracts—especially contracts requiring travel or involving the delivery of goods and services. In the event that one of the parties to a contract can’t perform as a result of an actual or potential coronavirus outbreak, would the doctrine of force majeure allow them to suspend their performance or terminate the contract?
Michael Levy works on matters involving the executive and legislative branches of the federal government. He also served as a Distinguished Teaching Professor at the Georgetown University School of Business for more than a decade. Michael's practice focuses on financial services, health care, taxes and trade.
Previously, Michael was the assistant secretary of legislative affairs for the U.S. Department of the Treasury and senior advisor to Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin. Responsible for passing the Treasury's legislative agenda into law, he coordinated the activities of the Treasury's legislative affairs staff and the staffs of the Internal Revenue Service; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; Financial Management Service; the U.S. Mint; Bureau of Engraving and Printing; Secret Service; Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; and Office of Thrift Supervision. Michael also coordinated the Treasury's legislative agenda with the Office of Legislative Affairs at the White House.
From 1987 to 1993, Michael served as chief of staff to former U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen. He worked as a staff economist at the Joint Economic Committee from 1985 to 1987. From 1978 to 1985, Michael was an Associate Professor at Texas A&M University. He was granted tenure in 1984, teaching courses in political science, public policy and political theory.
For more than a decade, Michael served on the board of Panim: Washington Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values, and continues to serve as a commissioner on the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad. He was appointed by President Clinton and re-appointed by President Bush.
Successfully lobbied the Securities and Exchange Commission to carve out and improve money market rules proposed by the Chair of the SEC, and supported by the Administration.
Lobbied Congress and the White House to defeat a proposed rule from the Department of Labor, which would impose significant changes to our client's business model. We built significant policymaker opposition and the White House removed the rule from consideration.
Successfully lobbied the NY Governors Office and state legislature to defeat a proposed budget measure that called for the revocation of a foreign tax credit treaty exemption. The measure would have raised billions by imposing a double tax on global companies paying taxation abroad with countries under an existing treaty.
Prevented the expansion of foreign trade that created a competitive advantage for a rival metals producer.
Assisted titanium industry in negotiating new terms for governing the military’s purchase of specialty metals.
Worked with an aluminum company to defeat unfair state utility legislation.
Helped pass cancellation of indebtedness income legislation in the 2010 stimulus bill.
Helped garner an exception for "Qualified Mortgages" (i.e., 30 year fixed with 20% down payment, or those with mortgage insurance) from the risk retention provision of the Dodd-Frank bill.
Brownstein worked closely with industry leaders, House Committee on Ways and Means members, Senate Finance Committee members and the Joint Committee on Taxation to solve existing barriers to foreign capital by successfully passing an amendment to the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA).
Lobbied Congress to include and reauthorize a "pro-investment provision" that allows businesses to deduct 100% of their equipment expenses to help stimulate the economy and job growth in 2008 and 2010.
During the health care reform debate, helped a major pharmaceutical company successfully advocate for a new FDA-approval pathway for follow-on biologic treatments in a way that preserves the United States' competitive edge in biotechnology while ensuring an appropriate balance between investment in new discovery and containing costs to patients.
Preserving data protections for costly, research intensive, biological pharmaceutical products; ensuring appropriate reimbursement rates for life sustaining products; and including healthy lifestyle initiatives in the Affordable Care Act.
Brownstein, along with a coalition of businesses, successfully convinced Congress to pass legislation granting a five-year carryback for net operating losses. This provision helped Fortune 50 companies to redirect billions of dollars for investment and job creation.
Assisted a large international health care company in protecting patient access to life-sustaining clotting factor treatments by advocating for a limited increase in mandatory price discounts.
Worked on behalf of a small biopharmaceutical company to ensure new Medicaid rules would not make it cost-prohibitive to provide its rare-disease medicine to Medicare recipients.
Helped physician owned hospital retain its governing structure in health care reform.
On behalf of private equity clients, preserved the controlled company exemption under existing NYSE rule in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
Assisted a small pharmaceutical company in obtaining appropriate reimbursement rates under new health reform law.
Successfully worked with the tobacco industry to equalize federal excise tax rates across similar products. This provision helped finance the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
Amending the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to eliminate frivolous lawsuits against private contractors working on behalf of hundreds of America’s district attorneys.
Board Member, Solomon Project
Council Member, Dean's Advisory Group, Rutgers University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Brownstein Government Relations Podcast Series: Top Issues for New AdministrationBrownstein Podcast Series, February 23, 2017
Top Issues for the New Administration – TaxBrownstein Podcast Series, February 22, 2017
Top Issues for the New Administration – TradeBrownstein Podcast Series, February 22, 2017
Top Issues for New Administration - Financial ServicesBrownstein Podcast Series, December 15, 2016
Top Issues for New Administration - Tax and TradeBrownstein Podcast Series, December 15, 2016
2015 Washington OutlookBrownstein Client Alert, Feb. 2, 2015
2014 Washington OutlookBrownstein Client Alert, January 30, 2014
Brownstein Update: Federal Tax Legislation - A Year in ReviewBrownstein Client Update, December 2, 2009
Political Thought in America: An AnthologyDorsey Press, March 1982; second edition, 1988. Reprinted 1992. Third edition pending.
Handbook of Political Theory and Policy SciencesGreenwood Press
The Liberal Future in America: Essays in Renewal Edited with Philip Abbot, Greenwood Press
Freedom Property and the Levellers: The Case of John LilburneWestern Political Quarterly. Vol. 36, 1, 1983
John Stuart Mill's Stationary State and Transcendence of LiberalismPolity, vol. XIV, 2, Winter 1981
Board Member, Panim: Washington Institute for Jewish Leadership & Values
Commissioner, U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad