Conference on Industry-Related Bill Moves Closer

The United States Senate on July 15 agreed by voice vote to send the foreign sales corporation bill, which includes provisions to eliminate the 30% withholding tax on winnings by foreign bettors and reduce the capital gains holding period for horses from two years to one, to conference.

The vote is the last procedural hurdle in the Senate for moving the bill to conference, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association said. It's now up to the House to name its conferees and begin negotiations to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill.

The NTRA expects to have considerable momentum for passage of the withholding provision because its primary supporters--Senators Mitch McConnell and Jim Bunning of Kentucky, and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas--will participate in all negotiations on the bill.

The bill could enter formal conference the week of July 19. Negotiations could begin in earnest in September, with a vote in late September or early October. Congress may recess by Oct. 10 because of the upcoming general election.

Should agreement be reached in conference, the full House and Senate must pass the bill.