One of the top priorities of both parties in the lame duck is the repeal of crippling expense-reporting requirements in the Affordable Care Act — requirements that would force businesses to file tax forms on all purchases over $600 in order to help raise revenue to fund the massive health-care bill. But Republicans and Democrats disagree on whether and how the roughly $19 billion in revenue that would be “lost” via repeal should be replaced. The differences were enough that two different repeal proposals went down in the Senate on Monday:
Democrats, led by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., contend that the PPACA is already more than $100 billion in the black, according to the nonpartisan number crunchers at the Congressional Budget Office. Baucus, author of the original repeal measure, said Monday, “The new reporting requirement just went too far….It far exceeds any benefit.”
But the author of a competing amendment, Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., who favors repealing the entirety of the new health care law and replacing it with GOP alternative legislation, said any removal of the 1099 requirement should include an offset to make up for the loss of revenue. Johanns’ amendment would, according to the senator, “simply (strip) 5% of the nonsecurity related funding that is just lying dormant in federal accounts at the end of the year.” Johanns’ would empower the head of the president’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to make the decision on what would be cut.
Johanns’s amendment was defeated 63-35, Baucus’s 44-53.