The Senate late Monday rejected two initiatives that would have repealed a part of the health care reform bill that increases dramatically the number of 1099 tax forms small businesses must send out every year. The news disappointed the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) , which noted that the Senate's failure occurred even though the idea of repeal enjoys bipartisan support.

"What is it going to take for our senators and representatives to stop the party politics and get back to working for the American people and job creators, namely small businesses?," NLBMDA president Michael O'Brien asked. "NLBMDA will continue to fight for repeal, and we urge all of our members to contact their senators to not only express their frustration with the recent votes, but to continue to urge the repeal of a provision that will significantly hurt lumber dealers and small businesses across the country and severely weaken the already fragile economy."

The New York Times quoted Senate officials as saying they expect another vote on repeal would come soon.

The Senate debate regarded a provision of the health care reform act requiring all business that spend at least $600 with a vendor, supplier, or contractor must file a 1099 tax form with the Internal Revenue Service identifying who got the money. It was included in as part of Obamacare because the requirement is expected to generate $17 billion in new revenue, thus helping pay for health care initiatives. But small-business groups such as the NLBMDA have blasted the provision as a huge administrative burden.

The protests raised over the provision eventually got so loud that Senators from both parties and even the Obama administration said the law should be scaled back in some way. (Story)

While general support for change was strong, there weren't enough senators who agreed on the details to provide the two-thirds vote needed to attach the repeal to a food-safety bill now on the Senate floor. An amendment by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., that would have repealed the 1099 provision with no offsetting spending cuts lst on a 44-53 vote, while an amendment by Sen. Mike Johans, R-Neb., that would have covered the repeal with cuts to other parts of the health reform bill lost by a 61-35 vote.

The provision survived because of the complex politics of the Senate," the Times story said. "Some lawmakers were reluctant to back repeal on Monday since the rule change would have been added to a popular food-safety law that is nearing approval, potentially jeopardizing its passage. In addition, dueling Democratic and Republican proposals allowed lawmakers to register their disapproval of the 1099 requirement whether the repeal passed or not."