Arrests in Baltimore for illegal guns often lead to dropped charges or little jail time

Sandy Levin

Lawmakers approve withholding fix for contractors

Government contractors applauded congressional action Wednesday to repeal a federal law that would have postponed millions of dollars in payments to Maryland companies, potentially wounding the region's fragile economy.

In a rare display of bipartisanship, the House of Representatives voted 422-0 Wednesday to revoke a requirement that federal, state and local governments withhold 3 percent of payments to contractors. The repeal was part of President Barack Obama's $447 billion jobs bill and now heads to the White House for his signature.

Enforcement of the requirement, which was set to begin in 2013, could have had a pronounced impact in Maryland, which ranks third after...