Business Groups Urge Senate Passage of Tax Extenders Measure

By Vicki Needham

A powerful trade group has teamed up with 150 business associations in urging the Senate to quickly pass a bill that would renew a slew of expired tax breaks.

The National Association of Manufacturers sent a letter signed by more than 150 business groups, including the National Association of Electrical Distributors, to the Senate on Tuesday pressing lawmakers to reach an agreement and pass the $85 billion tax extenders measure, which stalled out over a fight about floor debate procedures.

“These tax provisions benefit a wide range of taxpayers, including associations, businesses, individuals, community development organizations and non-profit organizations and are important to U.S. jobs and the broader economy,” the business associations wrote.

“The lack of timely action to extend these provisions injects instability and uncertainty into the economy and weakens confidence in the employment marketplace.”

On Tuesday, bill author, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said he is continuing to work with Republicans on amendments, but still didn’t sound open to a medical device repeal.

Last week, Senate Republicans halted the tax package’s progress after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) blocked their attempts to offer amendments.

Republicans wanted to repeal ObamaCare’s medical device tax and nix a wind production tax credit from the measure.

While Republicans and Democrats generally support the measure, the bill got caught up in the broader fight over floor procedures and the ability of the minority to offer amendments.

Whether Wyden can forge an agreement with Republicans remains to be seen.

But business groups argue that the delay will weigh on confidence and could hurt growth.

“The extension of the expired provisions should not be delayed until the end of the year since companies are making decisions right now related to taxes that will have an immediate impact on the economy,” the business groups wrote.

Bernie Becker contributed.

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