Senate Panel Keeps Energy Tax Breaks

On the last day before the August recess, the Senate Finance Committee approved a $200 billion–plus tax package that included breaks for biodiesel and wind-energy producers—although the GOP-controlled House passed symbolic legislation that would erase the tax breaks. Instead, the House voted to fully renew the Bush tax cuts on Wednesday and on Thursday, House members voted along party lines to lower the top income tax rate to 25 percent. All this further complicates the Senate’s panel’s action—it is likely to end up in the debate at the end of the year with the Bush tax cuts, $110 billion in automatic Pentagon spending cuts, and domestic-program scalebacks.