The House was poised to vote at ENR press time on a bill to delay for one year a requirement that government agencies withhold 3% of the value of contracts they award. The provision would put off the 3% withholding mandate until Dec. 31, 2011. It is part of a larger bill barring the Internal Revenue Service from contracting with private firms to collect unpaid taxes.
Although construction groups strongly support the one-year delay, prospects for approval look dim because it appears that the underlying bill will not pass, says Heidi Blumenthal, Associated General Contractors’ congressional relations director for tax and fiscal affairs. The vote “is likely to be very lopsided” because of opposition to the proposed private debt collection ban, she says.