The focus has shifted to the Senate for legislation to raise the minimum wage and provide tax incentives for small companies in construction and other industries.

A $1.3-billion tax-break package that the House approved Feb. 16 next must be reconciled with an $8.3-billion Senate-passed bill. After the Senate takes up the House bill, it would substitute its $8.3-billion plan and seek a conference with the House. The process is likely to begin as early as the start of March, but it is unclear whether procedural delays might occur, a Senate aide says.

Both bills extend for one year the Section 179 break, which lets firms expense the cost of assets such as equipment and software. The House bill raises the sum firms can write off and the threshold above which the deduction phases out.