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Owens to offer bill to reverse requirement

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WASHINGTON — Rep. William L. Owens, D-N.Y., will try again to press his own version of reversing a paperwork requirement from the health care reform law that Democrats and Republicans agree is a burden on small businesses.

Mr. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, said he has introduced a bill to repeal a requirement that businesses file an IRS form 1099 for every business transaction of $600 or more for property and services. The requirement would take effect in 2012.

What makes Mr. Owens's bill different, he said, is that it contains a "pay for" provision that covers the cost of the change — with a tax on families making more than $1 million, or individuals making more than $800,000 in adjusted gross income.

"Repealing this provision before it takes effect in 2012 is critical to protecting small businesses as we continue to recover from the economic downturn," said Mr. Owens, who proposed similar legislation last year with other lawmakers.

Reversing that part of the law has broad support, and President Barack Obama asked Congress on Tuesday night to address the issue quickly.

But the idea of covering the cost with a new tax on the wealthy runs into an issue that has divided the parties.

The proposal Mr. Owens backed last year failed in a House vote. The Senate also failed to pass a repeal as part of unrelated legislation.

In the Senate last year, Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., proposed paying for the proposal by using unspent federal funds. Other legislation contained no provision for covering the cost.

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