|By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER, Associated Press|
The House is expected to pass the package of more than 50 tax breaks Wednesday and send it to the
Time is short because the House plans to adjourn for the year next week, and the
"Let's see what they send us," said Senate Majority Leader
The tax breaks benefit big corporations and small businesses, as well as commuters, teachers and people who live in states without a state income tax. In all, they affect about 1 in 6 taxpayers, according to
Technically, the bill is a one-year, retroactive extension of the tax breaks, even though it only lasts through the end of the month.
Advocates and lawmakers from both political parties said the short-term measure is the product of a divided
"It's just unworthy of the world's greatest economy to have a tax code for two weeks," said former
House Republicans and Senate Democrats were negotiating to make some of the tax breaks permanent. But talks faltered last week after the
"The president killed it. Period," said House Speaker
On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary
Among the biggest breaks for businesses are a tax credit for research and development, an exemption that allows financial companies such as banks and investment firms to shield foreign profits from being taxed by the U.S. and several provisions that allow businesses to write off capital investments more quickly.
There is also a generous tax credit for using wind farms and other renewable energy sources to produce electricity.
The biggest tax break for individuals allows people who live in states without an income tax to deduct state and local sales taxes on their federal returns. Another protects struggling homeowners who get their mortgages reduced from paying income taxes on the amount of debt that was forgiven.
Other more narrow provisions include tax breaks for film and theater producers,
Some Democrats are unhappy the package leaves out two provisions: a tax credit that helps some laid-off workers pay for health insurance, and a tax credit for buying electric motorcycles.
"The House proposal on a number of important particulars really clobbers working-class families," said Sen. Ron Wyden D-
Wyden is also a champion of the tax credit for electric motorcycles, which helps
"First of all, I think that's anti-innovation," Wyden said of the omission. "The reality is that this is an opportunity to keep an industry in
The credit for electric motorcycles was left out because of "an oversight," said Rep.
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