Lott Bill Would Extend Tax Breaks

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) introduced a tax bill yesterday that would make the research and development credit for business permanent and extend several other tax breaks through 2001.

The legislation, with an estimated cost of $33 billion over 10 years, blends parts of similar bills approved by Senate and House committees. It also drops several provisions in those bills.

For example, Lott would not extend any energy tax credits, including those for wind-produced electricity or those for power produced with chicken manure. The first is a priority for Midwestern lawmakers, while the second is sought by Sen. William V. Roth Jr., whose home state of Delaware is prime poultry country.

Navy Reverses Promotion Denial

Reversing itself, the Navy is promoting an intelligence officer who had claimed he was improperly denied advancement after a laser beam damaged his eye as he flew over a Russian cargo ship in 1997.

A Navy official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a special group that reviewed the case of Lt. John Daly recommended he be promoted, and Deputy Defense Secretary John Hamre approved the decision this week.

The Navy had denied Daly's promotion in August. But after the Navy's inspector general found fault with the way the decision had been made, the Navy convened a special board to reconsider the matter.

Treaty Defeat Called Chance for India

The United States' failure to ratify the nuclear test ban treaty may allow India to take the lead on the pact, Energy Secretary Bill Richardson suggested.

Richardson, who will visit India next week, told reporters that his trip will deal mainly with energy issues but that nuclear proliferation is certain to come up.