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Thursday, March 04, 2010

Jobs Bill 2010 Progressing Through Congress

The Senate approved a $15 billion jobs bill on Feb 24 by a vote of 70 to 28. The House passed a $154 billion jobs bill in December but House leaders settled on a strategy for proceeding with the Senate bill this week. The House passed the $15 billion jobs bill today (3/4) on a vote of 217 to 201. The Senate will have to approve it again before President Barack Obama can sign it into law because the House modified it to satisfy the concerns of centrist Democrats and black lawmakers. The Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act (House Amendments H.R. 2847), was heavily amended, particularly the cost, from the original bill (The Jobs For Main Street Act).

The House bill includes payroll tax relief for businesses that hire new employees, costing $13 billion over 10 years. Employers wouldn't have to pay their share of federal payroll taxes for any new workers that have been unemployed for at least 60 days for the rest of 2010. If that worker is still on the books in a year, the business owner would receive an additional $1,000 tax credit. The bill includes an extension of the Build America Bonds program. It also extends a highway-construction fund through the end of the year. (NYT, 2/25/10, Reuters, 3/2/10, Market Watch, 3/4/10)

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