Washington Watch - December 1, 2010

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Washington Watch - December 1, 2010

Senate Fails Again To Strike 1099 Provision..

The Senate Monday evening failed for the second time to repeal a tax reporting requirement of the healthcare reform law that both parties agree should be scrapped and will hurt micro-businesses. Monday's failed votes were on two amendments to food-safety legislation.

The NASE has been closely following the 1099 provision, which requires businesses to file tax forms for business purchases of more than $600 a year. The Senate considered two amendments to repeal the provision — the first, from Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), would have offset the cost with unspent and unobligated federal dollars, to be identified by the Office of Management and Budget. It failed 61 to 35 because a two-thirds majority was needed for passage.

The second amendment, from Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), was not paid for and would have added $19 billion to the deficit. It failed 44 to 53.

Similar amendments from Johanns and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) already failed in September.

Before taking up the 1099 amendments, the Senate voted 69 to 26 to move forward on the food safety bill Monday evening. A vote on final passage took place Tuesday, and now the House has to consider the bill, despite having passed its own version in July 2009.

The NASE still has hope that the failed amendments might be attached to some other lame duck legislation. The 1099 issue, which we have been fighting for some time, is a focus of our latest public awareness campaign on policies that hurt job creation by the self-employed and micro-businesses.

Update: Bush Tax Cuts

Currently, Democrats and Republicans are at odds over to whom the tax cuts should be extended. Democrats are in favor of extending them only to those making under $250,000, but the Republicans would rather see the tax cuts extended for everyone. Today, President Obama and soon to be Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) met to discuss how the Bush era tax cuts would be addressed. In typical Washington fashion, the two agreed to another meeting, which would include one Republican, one Democrat, Secretary Treasury Geithner and OMB Director Jacob Lew. The hope is that they can all reach an agreement on these issues soon.

The NASE supports addressing the income and estate tax cuts. The association would prefer that these measures be extended so the self-employed do not face tax hikes next year and think it ideal to address them in a permanent fashion so the future of these tax cuts does not continue to remain uncertain. The key point for supporting the extension of tax incentives is to support extending the economic recovery.

SBA Re-Launches SBA.gov Search Functionality

Complete with bells and whistles, the new SBA.gov will provide small business owners and entrepreneurs with the targeted resources they need to help them succeed in business and create jobs.

According to the SBA, if you've ever browsed their website – in its current form – you'll know that the site has traditionally functioned as a repository of information about SBA programs and services. However, the site relied heavily on non-search engine friendly PDF documents to communicate content, making it a little harder than it might otherwise be for small business owners to find the information they needed.

The good news is that SBA has already made great strides towards improving the search function on its site and in fact has already rolled out a new Google-powered search tool that not only makes search a breeze, but it is also optimized to improve the ranking of SBA.gov content on search engines – helping business owners find what they need even if they search from outside the SBA.gov domain. Take a look at the new search function from the dedicated SBA.gov search page.

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