Senate sends repeal of hated tax provision to Obama

By Ted Barrett, CNN Congressional Producer


(CNN) -- The Senate voted Tuesday to repeal a part of the health care reform law that would require businesses to file a 1099 tax form with the government for every purchase they make over $600.

The requirement was designed to fight tax fraud and raise money for the health care reform plan Democrats passed last year. But it quickly became unpopular with both parties when businesses complained it would be too burdensome.

The Senate voted 87-12 for the repeal. The House already approved the bill, so it will go directly to the president, who has not said definitively if he will sign the legislation.

The Obama administration and some congressional Democrats, while favoring the repeal, had opposed the way the Republican-sponsored bill made up for the approximately $22 billion the Congressional Budget Offices says would be lost over the next 10 years to pay for health care reform.

However, multiple sources from both parties said they expect the president to sign the repeal.

An aide to Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Nebraska, said the senator's effort to repeal the IRS reporting requirement always was aimed at easing the workload on businesses, not at taking a partisan whack at the controversial health care law.

However, other Republicans said they hope this is the first vote of many that pares back the health care law.

"This is a big win for small businesses," Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said before the vote Tuesday. "Importantly, it's also the first of what I hope are many successful repeal votes related to the disastrous health spending bill Democrats passed last year."

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, responding to passage of the legislation, said the administration is "open to working with Republicans and Democrats to improve the health reform law."

"We are pleased Congress has acted to correct a flaw that placed an unnecessary bookkeeping burden on small businesses," Carney said in a written statement. "And the administration remains eager to work with anyone with ideas about how we can make health care better or more affordable for all Americans." To top of page

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