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Washington Watch - October 6, 2010

Congress Adjourns To Campaign For Midterms

The House and Senate wrapped up last week and headed back to their home districts for some last-minute campaigning before the midterm elections. When Congress returns in November for the lame duck session, it is set to take up expiring 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. It is unclear, at this point, if the extended 1099 reporting requirements will be addressed at that time.

During Congress' recess, Washington Watch will go on break, as well. In the meantime, stay up-to-date by visiting our blog.

Congress Passes Continuing Resolution

Before Congress left for their home states, they were able to vote to fund the federal government for another few months with a Continuing Resolution (often referred to simply as the "CR"). A CR is a temporary extension of the federal budget, in this case until December 3rd, when no final agreement has been reached. Fiscal year 2011 began October 1st, but neither side of the aisle had been able to come to an agreement on bugetary cuts for that year, seen as a necessary first step in reducing the federal deficit. Extending the CR at current levels allows Congress to put off tough decisions regarding program cuts until after the midterms, an idea attractive to both Republicans and Democrats who are currently campaigning.

Upon their return, the House and Senate lawmakers will square off on the expiring 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. House leaders and the White House propose extending the tax cuts for all but those with household incomes beginning at $250,000, meaning the first $250,000 would be subject to the tax cut but amounts above that would be taxed at pre-2001 rates. Republican leaders wish to extend the tax cuts for everyone.

Read more about the Continuing Resolution and predictions on the efficacy of Congress, post-election:

White House Hosts Women's Entrepreneurship Summit

Small Business Administrator Karen Mills took to the White House Blog to comment on the Administration's increased attention to women-owned firms and their access to federal contracts. She announced the rollout of the Women's Contracting Rule would bring additional dollars to around 83 industries in which women-owned businesses have historically held fewer contracts.

According to the blog, after the rule is published in the Federal Register, the SBA will be working closely with the federal agencies to give them the systems and the training they need to set-aside more contracts for small, women-owned firms. Administrator Mills expects for the program to be operational in about four months (early 2011).

Read her entire comments here.

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