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ARLINGTON, Va. — A congressional amendment that would offer tax relief to small companies that continue to pay employees who also are National Guard members and reservists was removed from one congressional bill and added to another as lawmakers jockeyed to keep the measure alive.

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., struck a deal with Republican lawmakers over the holiday weekend that they would sponsor her amendment, now affixed to another bill, in exchange for her promise not to filibuster a $136 billion package that cuts taxes for businesses.

The Guard and Reserve Pay Protection amendment, estimated to cost about $2.5 billion over 10 years, would give a 50 percent tax credit to employers who pay up to $30,000 in lost wages for those employees who take a pay cut when activated.

Senators voted in favor of the measure as part of HR 1779, the Guard and Reserve Finance Relief Act. which already has passed the House of Representatives, and now must return there because it was altered.

HR 1779 would allow activated guard members and reservists to access their IRA funds early without having to pay penalties.

Landrieu wants to have the measure worked in the House’s November lame duck session; however, it might not be acted on until a new Congress is seated in January, said Christin Tinsworth, a spokeswoman at the House Ways and Means Committee.

“I simply don’t know. When this came up, the House had completed all its business for the foreseeable future,” she said.

The proposed measures are available at: http://thomas.loc.gov.

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