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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...