Republican senators block bill to renew expired tax breaks in dispute over amendments

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By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican senators have blocked a bill to renew more than 50 expired tax breaks affecting millions of businesses and individuals.

The bill has widespread bipartisan support, but Republicans were unhappy because Democrats wouldn't agree to vote on GOP amendments.

Some Republican senators said they expect the bill to come up again, perhaps after congressional elections in November.

Almost every year, Congress routinely renews the tax breaks. This year, though, they were allowed to expire at the start of the year. The package has strong backing from the business community but would add about $85 billion to the budget deficit.

The biggest tax breaks include a business tax credit for research and development and a deduction for state and local sales taxes for certain individual taxpayers.

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