By Mike Lillis
U.S. Chamber of Commerce leaders are introducing Labor Day this week with a Thursday discussion on the policy issues they say are hobbling the job market.
Among the topics, Chamber leaders will almost certainly highlight a provision of the Democrats' new healthcare reform law requiring businesses to file 1099 tax forms when they purchase more than $600 in goods from another company, even a corporation, over the course of a year. Previous rules required businesses to report only services topping that amount, and purchases from corporations were exempted.
By forcing companies to pay the taxes they owe, the new filing requirement would generate more than $17 billion for the federal government over a decade, the Congressional Budget Office estimates. But businesses are crying foul, saying the extra paperwork will be an expensive burden preventing new hires.
The provision takes effect in 2012.
Behind the U.S. Chamber, the business community is hoping to overturn the new mandate before it takes hold. With that in mind, Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) is pushing legislation to repeal the filing requirement altogether. As an alternative, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) introduced a proposal that scales it back instead.
Votes on both bills are scheduled for the second week of September, when Congress returns from its summer vacation.
Thursday's U.S. Chamber discussion will feature Martin Regalia, the group's chief economist, and Randy Johnson, senior vice president of labor and employee benefits.