WASHINGTON — A procedural vote in the Senate on Sunday showed strong support for a corporate tax bill intended to lead to the European Union lifting $5 billion in trade sanctions against U.S. exports.

The $137 billion measure, which passed the House last week, is also loaded with corporate and other tax breaks, such as reinstating the state sales tax deduction, accounting for $5 billion annually, as a means to boost retail sales. Senators voted 66 to 14 in the procedural vote.

However, a final vote was abruptly delayed by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D., La.), who took to the floor and announced she would use Senate rules to prolong final consideration of the bill for as much as four days until her colleagues voted for the tax break for the 173,335 active National Guard reservists, many of whom have seen their tours of duty extended because of the demand on manpower in the Iraq war.

Landrieu said the $15,000-per-soldier tax credit would encourage companies to continue reservist civilian pay and help cash-strapped reservist families.

This story first appeared in the October 11, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.