September 24, 2004 -- With the presidential election looming, a joint House-Senate committee delivered President Bush an early gift on Thursday by extending several presidential-sponsored tax cuts worth $145.9 million.

The legislation, which is expected to pass both the House and Senate by the end of next week, marks the fourth major tax cut under the Bush administration's watch and is expected to win him support in the November election.

The bill would keep the child tax credit, marriage penalty relief and the expanded 10% tax bracket in effect for another year. Of particular note to business owners is the committee's decision to extend nearly two-dozen business tax breaks worth approximately $12.97 billion, the largest of which is a research and development tax credit worth $7.56 billion.

Other tax cuts aimed at the bottom lines of businesses include credits towards the purchase of electric cars, alternative energy production from wind and biomass products and additional support for the economic recovery of lower Manhattan.

Senator Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said that he hoped the White House would honor separate legislation that would repeal a controversial export subsidy that has been targeted by the World Trade Organization and European nations. Because of the subsidy, European nations have implemented an 11% tariff on 1,600 kinds of manufactured goods and farm products that are imported by the U.S.

The tariff will increase 1% every month until the U.S. removes the subsidy.