Members of Congress and an administration official said last week that the empowerment zone program, which offers tax incentives to attract private businesses to distressed communities, should be extended beyond its Dec. 31 deadline. But some business leaders said parts of the program are overly restrictive and could be improved.

House Ways and Means Committee chairman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., said last week that the program should be extended, and during a hearing Wednesday looking at the program, Richard Neal, D-Mass., chairman of the select revenue measures subcommittee, also threw his support behind it.

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