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Words from Washington

Congress must focus on common sense approaches

Before serving in Congress, I spent many years running my family's small business - Columbia Basin Paper and Supply in Pasco. As a former small business owner, I understand just how much work it takes to make a business successful and I am familiar with the impacts of the high tax burden and extensive amount of paperwork requirements imposed by the government.

This month, the House of Representatives passed a bill with my support to repeal the paperwork mandates that were imposed on small businesses as a part of President Obama's health care law. This legislation to repeal the 1099 mandate is supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, U. S. Apple and a variety of other organizations and was approved by a bi-partisan vote of 314 to 112.

If this mandate, commonly known as the 1099 measure, is not repealed, it would require all businesses, regardless of size, to report goods or service transactions valued at $600 or more annually to the IRS. This bureaucratic and costly mandate would limit the engine of economic growth - our small businesses. Resources that could otherwise be used to hire new workers, expand local businesses and grow the economy would instead be needed simply to comply with these new IRS government mandates and red-tape.

At a time when 28 million Americans want a full-time job but don't have one, Congress needs to end this unnecessary roadblock to private-sector job creation. By repealing the 1099 provision, the new House of Representatives took an important step to allow for job creation and create a degree of stability needed to increase confidence in the private sector. I'm hopeful that the repeal bill can be signed into law in short order.

The last two years prove that bailouts, stimulus spending and massive expansions of the federal government won't create jobs or fix our economy. Congress must focus instead on common sense approaches to get Americans back to work and repealing the 1099 measure is one step in putting an end to the uncertainty for small businesses.

There is much more to do. I will continue to my work in Congress to foster the pro-growth environment needed to rebuild our economy.

- Congressman Doc Hastings (R-Pasco) represents Central Washington's Fourth Congressional District.

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