Emerson ready to use appropriations process to kill health bill tax requirement

Chairwoman Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.) said her top immediate priority is eliminating the 1099 requirement in the healthcare law that requires businesses to report to the Internal Revenue Service any payments over $600 to other businesses including the purchases of goods.

The reporting requirement is designed to help the IRS ensure businesses do not underreport their revenue. Critics say the burden on small business will be immense.

A standalone bill to repeal the requirement was introduced Wednesday in the House, and Emerson said she is hopeful it will pass. The bill failed in the last Congress over concerns that repealing it would cause a loss of revenue.

If it fails again, Emerson said she will introduce its provisions into the 2011 appropriations process. A continuing resolution will be required to fund the government after March 4.

“It is often far easier that way, isn’t it,” she noted.

The White House announced last year its support for removing the 1099 requirement, but a dispute erupted over how to fund the repeal.

Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) pushed a bill in the recent lame-duck session that would have repealed the 1099 requirement while ignoring the $19 billion deficit impact. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) sponsored a bill that would have offset the cost with unobligated federal funds. Both measures failed to gain enough support.