Better than nothing—but barely.That is how many lawmakers and business groups are reacting to a vote last night by the U.S. House of Representatives to retroactively revive a tax credit that allows companies to write off certain research expenses.Backers of the so-called R&D credit, worth some $7 billion annually in recent years, had hoped this would be the year Congress finally made the 33-year-old tax break permanent—as many economic experts have long urged. But those hopes were again dashed by political infighting. Instead, Wednesday’s 378 to 46 vote will temporarily restore for 2014 the R&D credit and nearly 50 other tax breaks that expired earlier this year.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)A bipartisan alliance of lawmakers had hoped to move legislation that revived many of the expired tax breaks through at least 2015 and to make several—including the R&D credit—permanent. Even the White House had embraced the idea, joining others who argue that businesses need certainty to make long-term plans for investing in research. Supporters also insist that the cost of the credit is more than offset by related economic gains.There was even a rumored 11th-hour agreement between House and Senate leaders on such a strategy—until the White House threatened to veto any deal, in part because it did not include certain breaks for low-income taxpayers. With the current Congress set to adjourn as soon as the end of next week, lawmakers settled on a simple 1-year extension. If the House bill is approved by the Senate, as expected, it will mark the 16th time Congress has extended the R&D credit since it was created in 1981.Bipartisan frustration with that outcome was obvious during the House floor debate on the measure.“This place is dysfunctional,” said Representative Jim McDermott (D–WA). Congress should have acted on the tax credits “a long time ago, and done it permanently,” he said. “Businesses and individuals need to know what the tax is going to be in the beginning of the year so that they can plan and take advantage of incentives rather than waiting until the last 2 weeks of the year when the Congress may or may not act.”“This is a lousy way to run a tax code. It is a lousy way to run a government,” said Representative Ron Kind (D–WI). “I think individuals and businesses, large and small, need greater certainty.”Industry groups were disappointed, but still thankful that lawmakers didn’t blow a yearlong hole in the credit, as they did once in the 1990s, by letting it lapse completely. “They’ve produced a train wreck—again—but at least it is not as bad a wreck as it could have been,” one lobbyist for a high-tech group told ScienceInsider, asking for anonymity because the group has already begun enlisting lawmakers to protect the credit in 2015. “We’re pretty unhappy, but we don’t want to appear ungrateful.”There will be a new push next year to make the credit permanent, perhaps as part of a much larger effort to reform and simplify the U.S. tax code. But finding a way to offset the estimated $100 billion to $150 billion in lost tax revenue won’t be easy.McDermott, for one, was not optimistic about the prospects for a broader overhaul. “Everyone should take note of today, the third of December,” he said during the floor debate. “Next year, right about this time, we will be right back here with the same bill.”
Top Stories The Cards, like Seattle, are turning to an unseasoned and inexperienced signal caller. Unlike Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, Skelton seemed to win the quarterback job by default. Neither he nor his competition Kevin Kolb was able to impress during the preseason. Skelton finished 14-for-25 passing for 131 yards with 1 TD and 2 INTs.Wilson, on the other hand, bested pricy veteran free agent Matt Flynn to land the starting job. The third-round draft pick completed 63.5 percent of his throws and had five touchdowns with only one interception. He also rushed for 150 yards during the preseason.Offensive LineWhile the Cardinals quarterback conundrum took center stage heading into the season, it’s their shoddy offensive line that gives cause for concern. The loss of tackle Levi Brown to a season-ending triceps tear could prove detrimental to an otherwise weak line.Offensive line coach Russ Grimm certainly has his work cut out for him this year. D’Anthony Batiste, Bobby Massie and Pat McQuistan will likely garner a lot of attention, although it might not be the good kind.ReceiversThe Cardinals still face questions as to which wideout will step up and turn into a formidable force alongside six-time Pro Bowler Larry Fitzgerald. Ken Whisenhunt’s team isn’t lacking talent in that area, as the Cards boast talented first-round draft pick Michael Floyd, along with Andre Roberts and Early Doucet. Comments Share The Arizona Cardinals kick off the 2012 season in front of their home fans against a familiar foe. The Cards will battle NL West rival Seattle Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium. These two teams split two games last year, each winning on their own turf.QuarterbacksThe John Skelton era will officially begin for the Cardinals at quarterback. While there still remains some questions about his ability to lead the team, limit mistakes and cut down on turnovers — he’s head coach Ken Whisenhunt’s choice to open the season as the team’s starter. If Skelton wants to have any success, he needs to get off to a fast start and improve on his accuracy, which has been one of his bigger weaknesses. D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away DefenseMany pundits believe the strength of this year’s Cardinals team is their defense. Ray Horton’s troops hope to prove that’s true with a strong start to the season. Arizona has two reliable pass rushers in Calais Campbell and three-time Pro Bowl tackle Darnell Dockett. The team’s secondary is also deep, with safety Adrian Wilson and Patrick Peterson in the mix. Don’t count out linebacker Daryl Washington, who could play a key role in the contest, as well.It will be crucial for the Cardinals to stop a mobile Wilson from breaking out of the pocket, while also stopping a very good Seahawks running game.The Cardinals offense won’t have an easy task going up against Seattle’s defense, which allowed a league-low 44 points in the preseason. Their defense also forced 10 turnovers, which could be bad news for Skelton. Look for the Seahawks to force his hand and, as a result, force mistakes.Besides top pass rusher Chris Clemons on the defensive line, Seattle will look to two rookies, first-round pick Bruce Irvin and second-rounder Bobby Wagner, to make some noise and put pressure on Skelton. The Cardinals signal caller has thrown 16 interceptions in 13 career games and should have a huge target on his back in this game. OutlookThe Cardinals struggling offensive line and uncertainty at quarterback could prove to be the team’s undoing against Seattle. If the Seahawks defense looks anything like it did during the preseason, it will be a long day at the office for the Cardinals. What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation While the Cardinals receivers bring a youthful exuberance into the fold, the Seahawks will turn to veteran Braylon Edwards to set the tone for their wideouts. Besides Edwards, Seattle will rely on Doug Baldwin, Ben Obomanu and Golden Tate a good deal this season.The Cardinals defense will have the good fortune of not facing Tate on Sunday. He is still nursing a sprained knee and will not play.Running game The Cardinals are expected to rely more heavily on their running game this year. The key to their success likely centers around the health of their backs Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams. The team is hopeful both can return successfully from their respective knee surgeries. Williams could be a wild card for the Cardinals. He missed all of his rookie season last year and while the team has seen glimpses of what he’s capable of, if he can translate that potential and promise to carries and touchdowns on the field, the Cards should be off and running.The Seahawks possess a strong running game of their own, and one that thrived during the preseason. Still Marshawn Lynch is questionable for the opener against Arizona with back spasms, which would give the Cardinals a boost. Robert Turbin is expected to see a good deal of action, especially if Lynch doesn’t play.