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Weekly Column 8-2-10


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An Update from Washington- House passes legislation to remove small business reporting requirements and funding our military installations and veterans

In my previous column, I wrote about legislation I co-sponsored to repeal burdensome tax reporting requirements for small businesses. I am proud to announce that the House recently passed the Small Business Tax Relief Act, which will remove Section 9006 of the new health care law that requires business owners to submit a separate 1099 IRS form for each business-to-business transaction totaling over $600 in a given year. This legislation is very similar to the Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act, the bill I co-sponsored.

As you may remember, the reporting requirement is particularly harmful for small businesses. Not only are they faced with an onerous tax reporting burden, it could also change with whom they decide to do business. It will be much more difficult for small businesses to purchase goods and services from smaller companies if they have to fill out an additional 1099 form for each individual vendor. Many would choose to rely on a single large supplier than to negotiate with a number of small companies. Additionally, smaller companies often do not have a staff large enough to handle additional paperwork requirements.

I am pleased my colleagues recognized the need to quickly address this glaring problem with the health care law. One of the many reasons I opposed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was because it placed additional burdens on our small businesses during economic hard times. In fact, many small business owners have said that the reporting requirement was their number one concern with the health care law. I hope the Senate follows the House's lead in quickly passing this repeal of a specific provision in the health care bill.

Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Funding Bill Passes House

Last week, I was proud to support the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, which passed the House by an overwhelmingly 411-6 bipartisan margin. The bill will now head to the Senate for consideration. In addition to funding military construction projects around the country as well as the Department of Veterans Affairs, the bill contains funding for specific projects at Fort Rucker, Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, and the Alabama Air National Guard.

Specifically, the bill provides $56.8 billion in discretionary funding for the VA and $64 billion for mandatory VA programs such as health care. It allocates $18.7 billion for military construction and family housing, and $1.3 billion in emergency appropriations for military construction projects in support of the war in Afghanistan. Due to legislation passed last year, this bill also allocates $50.6 billion in advance appropriations for the VA, ensuring the VA will not be subject to budgetary delays.

Projects at Fort Rucker include $36 million for an Aviation Maintenance Facility, $29 million for an Aviation Component Maintenance Shop, $1.7 million for an Emergency Medical Services Facility, and $4.65 million for a Training Aids Support Center. At Maxwell-Gunter, $13.4 million is dedicated for the ADAL Air University Library and $810,000 to complete the design phase of a new air traffic control tower. Additionally, the Alabama Air National Guard, which is based at the Montgomery Regional Airport, is set to receive $7.47 million for a Fuel Cell/Corrosion Control Hangar. For more information on these projects, please visit my website.

I am very pleased to help secure needed funding for military installations in the Second District. They are playing a pivotal role in supporting the young men and women who are fighting for our freedoms and deserve the best possible facilities. Supporting their missions, as well as all of our soldiers serving across the country and around the world, will always be one of my top priorities. The legislation passed last week will go a long way in supporting the troops and veterans, and I was proud to support it.

As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call our offices in Montgomery at (334) 277-9113, Dothan at (334) 794-9680, Opp at (334) 493-9253, or Ozark at (334) 445-4600. You can also visit the website at to sign up for the e-newsletter. It is my great pleasure to serve you and the entire Second District of Alabama.

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