By Jay Heflin - 03/17/10 02:08 PM EDT
In opening remarks, ranking Ways and Means Republican Dave Camp (R-Mich.) criticized the small business jobs bill under debate in his committee for not doing enough to help businesses survive the current economic crisis. Included in his critique was the decision to strike pension relief from the bill.
"The one area I thought was ripe for bipartisan compromise -- pension relief -- has been stripped out of the underlying legislation," he said in prepared remarks. "I know there continues to be some internal debate within the Democrat caucus about how to proceed on pensions, but for the sake of American employers and their workers, this is an area I think we can and should come together on quickly.
On Tuesday, Ways and Means Chairman Sandy Levin (D-Mich) decided to strip pension relief from today's bill since a larger, Senate-passed jobs package that extends several expired tax breaks includes pension relief. But the fate of that bill is unknown since Levin is pushing for a conference on the legislation, which could delay its enactment.