• Important U.S. Senate Vote

    by  • September 8, 2010 • Calls to Action, Legislation

    A R T I S T S   U N D E R   T H E   D O M E
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    US Senate sealImportant vote to be taken on September 14th by the U.S. Senate (Washington, DC) that impacts artists of all disciplines, the self employed, and small businesses/nonprofits.


    I want to alert everyone to two very important competing  amendments slated for a September 14th vote in the U.S. Senate. These amendments are being voted on to be attached to the HR 5297 Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010. This is the legislation the President is urging to be passed.

    As some of you may remember, earlier this summer I posted an alert about a new IRS requirement. There has been a change on 1099 reporting that was part of the National Health Care Reform Law that was recently passed. Starting in Spring 2012, one will have to report via 1099 form not only those individuals pay over $600 for a service, but they will have to 1099 for any good/products they purchased that is $600 or over (this means if you buy a computer, office products from Staples, your phone service, your landlord, you will have to 1099 them).

    (The IRS is still taking comments until Sept 29th on this issue and for more info on this new requirement and how to send in your comments to the IRS: http://artistsalliance.us/regulations/ )

    Below I give  the basic  essentials on the two competing amendments.

    (For very in depth analysis on these two amendments see the Center for Budget and Policy Policies: http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3264 )

    The basic info on the two amendments:

    1) Amendment SA 4596 is put forth is by US Senator Mike Johanns (Republican/Nebraska) would repeal the new IRS 1099 reporting requirement in its entirety, but would do so by ending the $15 Billion Prevention and Public Health Fund for fiscal years 2010 -2017. The fund was created as part of the new Health Care Reform Law (ie ending the grant program to pay for the assumed lost revenue earned by the new IRS 1099 requirement). This new fund was established to support national and state local programs to reduce racial and ethnic disparities and to help make Americans healthier via preventive care initiatives. SA 4596  also lowers the threshold from those being mandated to buy health insurance from 8 percent of one’s income to 5 percent of one’s income. This would exempt 2 million people from purchasing health insurance and would cause premiums for those purchasing insurance to rise by 4 percent as risk will be spread over fewer Americans.

    ***  To read the amendment SA 4596 (PDF):  http://healthyamericans.org/assets/files/Johanns.pdf

    ***Of Note: Under the Health Care Reform Law that was passed, those who do not have employer based insurance (ie have to buy insurance 100 percent themselves) who have incomes up to 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level ($43,320 for individuals and $88,200 for a family of four) will be eligible for premium subsidies and their out -of-pocket health expenses will be limited to ease financial burden of having to purchase health insurance.

    2) Amendment  SA 4595 put forth by US Senator  Bill Nelson (Democrat/Florida) to address the problems of the new IRS requirement by scaling back the new requirement and replaces the funds the projected lost revenue by ending a tax break for the five large US Oil Companies.  The Nelson Amendment does the following: Any business with not more than 25 employees (for the year) will be exempt from the new reporting requirement and those over 25 employees will have to report good/purchases for $5,000 or over. The proposal also exempts purchases made with credit cards from informational reporting (note the IRS was already exempting this). It also gives the Treasury and the IRS more latitude to further make the reporting requirements less “burdensome” such as exempting non-troublesome” transactions (like meals, airplane tickets and hotel rooms) from the reporting requirements. To view amendment SA 4595 (PDF): http://healthyamericans.org/assets/files/Nelson.pdf

    Both amendments need 60 votes to pass, and the votes could be close.

    Healthcare advocates are asking people to contact their U.S. Senators to ask them to support the Nelson Amendment SA 4595 and not the Johanns Amendment SA 4596.

    To find out who your Senators are and how to contact them:


    Please pass this email on to everyone you know in the U.S. as this is a national issue.


    Kathleen Bitetti
    Artist & Advocate
    Co-founder of www.artistsalliance.us, www.artistsunderthedome.org, www.healthcareforartists.org, and the Massachusetts Artists Leaders Coalition
    Artists Under the Dome mailing list
    For more information visit:


    Don Schaefer is a MALC steering committee member who works with many artist-related issues. He is co-administrator of Pro-Imaging.org and Campaign Director for Artists-Bill-of-Rights.org.