Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Murphy, Owens unhappy with failure to act on 1099

Here's a quickie that I just penned on the Senate's failure to address the 1099 requirement contained with President Obama's health care overhaul bill:

President Barack Obama gained a political victory this week following a crucial vote to clear the way for a bill aimed at creating a $30 billion government fund to help open up lending for credit-starved small businesses.

Two Republican senators – Ohio’s George Voinovich and Florida’s George LeMieux – joined Democrats to end a GOP filibuster of the bill.

But two North Country congressmen are unhappy that amendments to ease a requirement in the massive health care reform bill weren’t attached to the legislation.

Democrats Bill Owens and Scott Murphy say competing Democratic and GOP measures to repeal the 1099 requirement in the health care bill should have been included.

The 1099 requirement forces business to file a tax form for every vendor that sells them more than $600 in goods. Pro-business groups say that measure creates a paperwork nightmare for small businesses. The reporting requirement is not yet in place and does not take effect until 2012.

Owens, who represents New York’s 23rd Congressional District, says it’s regrettable that the Senate was unable to reach a compromise on an amendment to repeal the 1099 reporting requirement.

“Amending this provision of the law is critical to protecting upstate New York businesses,” he said in a prepared statement.

“Congress needs to show a stronger commitment to listening to our constituents and acting to resolve their concerns,” Owens added. “Amending this requirement on small business does just that.”

He’s confident, however, that members from both parties can come together to address the 1099 issue before it takes effect.

Scott Murphy represents New York’s 20th Congressional District. He says the failure to include the amendment was a failure of leadership by both Democrats and Republicans.

“As a businessman, I know that we need to remove financial and regulatory burdens on local businesses that would potentially stifle private sector growth,” Murphy said.

“During this tough economic time, we need to work to get government out of the way, and that starts with eliminating these burdensome provisions,” he added. “I will keep fighting for our small businesses, because they, not the government, are key to our economic recovery.”

In July, Murphy and Owens teamed up with Michigan Congressman Sander Levin to introduce legislation aimed at making up for the potential loss in tax revenue that would result from repealing 1099.

That legislation was endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Business.

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