Congress Has a Full Plate of Leftover Business
The Hill (01/20/04) p.21; Hearn, Josephine

As congressional lawmakers return from their recess, they are preparing to re-address a number of tax, pension, and savings measures that were proposed last year. Legislators are gearing up to consider a plan proposed by the Bush administration to encourage saving by establishing tax-free lifetime savings accounts and retirement savings accounts in which individual taxpayers will be allowed to contribute up to $7,500 each year. The proposals, which conflict with other lawmakers' efforts to expand the use of individual retirement accounts, have been criticized as plans to produce more savings for the wealthy without really providing aid to middle-class savers. Experts speculate that the Bush administration could alter its approach by including income caps in its proposals to create the savings plans. Congressional lawmakers are also preparing to reconsider H.R. 3108, a pension relief bill passed by the House last year that would provide companies with pension deficits relief by replacing the 30-year Treasury bond funding formula with a formula based on a long-term corporate bond index. This measure has received wide support from the business sector. In addition, congressional lawmakers are slated to take up H.R. 2896, legislation to repeal the foreign sales corporation/extraterritorial income tax breaks. The proposed law comes in response to a European Union move to impose sanctions on U.S. goods in response to U.S. export tax breaks that the World Trade Organization says violate international trade rules.


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