Reviving an effort that failed two years ago, Sen. Connie Mack, R-FL, and others introduced a bill to raise the meal deduction from 50% to 80%. The bill, introduced in both the House and Senate, actually would restore the deduction truck drivers and other federally regulated workers lost in the tax bill of 1993.
Introducing the bill, S. 1079, Sen. Mack said, "The (Clinton) administration marketed (the 1993 law) as an attack on the 'three martini lunch,' but the tax increase was, in fact, a big blow to the wallets and pocketbooks of working-class Americans whose jobs require them to be stranded far from home."
The lower deduction costs the average trucker about $1,000 per year, Sen. Mack said.
The American Trucking Assns. backs the legislation. "We will vigorously support these bills," said ATA President and CEO Walter B. McCormick.
Besides Sen. Mack, the sponsors are: Sens. Charles Grassley, R-IA, and Herb Kohl, D-WI; and Reps. Mac Collins, R-GA, and Jennifer Dunn, R-WA.