House Passes Research and Development Tax Credit

The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday voted 274-131 to approve making a tax credit for business research and development costs a permanent part of the federal tax code for the first time.

The bill faces an uphill battle in the Democratic-controlled Senate amid criticism that its estimated $156-billion, 10-year cost to U.S. taxpayers is not offset by any new tax revenue. The bill would give businesses a 20 percent tax break for qualifying research expenses.

The credit is one of dozens of U.S. tax laws that are temporary. It has been extended 15 times since it was enacted in 1981. It technically expired at the end of 2013.