WASHINGTON -- The House Ways and Means Committee is close to approving Rep. Dan Rostenkowski's tax simplification bill, but may have to jettison some of its bond provisions and other items to minimize the cost, congressional aides said yesterday.

The bill, introduced by the Illinois Democrat in January, contains a number of provisions to ease curbs on tax-exempt bonds. For example, it would increase to $10 million the $5 million small-issuer exemption from the arbitrage rebate requirement and repeal the 5% unrelated-use test.

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