Capital Roundup

Congress extends R&D tax credit

Congress approved an 18-month extension of the research and development tax credit as part of tax relief bill H.R. 1308. The bill awaits President George W. Bush's signature. The bill extends the research credit to qualified amounts paid or incurred before Jan. 1, 2006.

Industry groups have lobbied for the extension, saying that the tax credit is essential to their long-term budgeting and allows companies to innovate through investment in advanced research areas.

Dems: Small businesses losing out

The number of federal contracts awarded to small businesses did not meet the federal 23 percent goal in fiscal 2003, according to House Democrats on the Small Business Committee, who released their small-business contracting scorecard late last month.

Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.), ranking minority member on the committee, criticized the Small Business Administration for reporting earlier this year that agencies had met the goal. SBA used flawed procurement data from the Federal Procurement Data System to make its assessment, Velazquez said.

The actual percentage is 22.68, which translates into nearly $1 billion in lost contract opportunities for small businesses, Velazquez said.

Putnam leaves Reform Committee

Rep. Adam Putnam (R-Fla.), a leader of congressional oversight of federal, has moved from the House Government Reform Committee to the Rules Committee.

Putnam replaces Rep. Porter Goss, another Florida Republican, who became CIA director.

Putnam had led the Government Reform subcommittee on technology, information policy, intergovernmental relations and the Census since January 2003.

The Rules Committee sets the schedule for bills that come up for debate and the length of debate. Government sources said the move could bode well for IT issues because Putnam understands their importance.

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