updated 12/20/2006 9:43:12 AM ET 2006-12-20T14:43:12

A sweeping tax and trade bill awaiting President Bush's signature would revive some 20 tax breaks, extend trade benefits for developing countries and protect doctors from a big cut in Medicare payments.

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The bill is a patchwork of must-do items that were left for the lame duck Congress. It was bundled together and passed just before the House and Senate adjourned last month.

The president planned to sign the bill Wednesday.

Republican budget hawks bridled at the measure's approximately $40 billion price tag, and textile state senators objected to trade provisions benefiting Haiti.

The bill would:

-Extend through the end of next year a deduction for research and development initiatives.

-Renew a deduction of up to $4,000 for higher education costs.

-Give tax breaks for teachers who pay for supplies out of their own pockets.

-Let taxpayers in nine states deduct state and local sales taxes because their states have no income taxes.

-Open up 8.3 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas drilling, and offer a dozen credits promoting alternative and efficient uses of energy.

-Prevent a 5 percent cut in Medicare payments to doctors from taking effect on Jan. 1.

-Renew, with increased federal contributions, a program to help clean up abandoned coal mines and provide health care for miners who worked for companies that have gone out of business.

-Permanently normalize trade with Vietnam and extend trade benefits for four Andean nations, sub-Saharan African countries and Haiti.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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