Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Senate Approves Tax Breaks for New Hires

The Senate approved Obama’s job creation bill this morning with a 70-28 vote. The legislation includes tax breaks for businesses that hire previously unemployed workers. It will need to get passed by the House of Representatives before going to Obama’s desk for a signature, but many experts predict it will have no problem getting enough votes in the House. Democrats hope that this will be the first of many bills that will help encourage job creation.

According to Yahoo, it's the first major bill to pass the Senate since the Christmas Eve passage of a deeply controversial health care bill and the subsequent election of Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown, which rocked Democrats by demonstrating their falling standing even among heavily Democratic voters.

The bill contains two major provisions. First, it would exempt businesses hiring the unemployed from the 6.2 percent Social Security payroll tax through December and give them an additional $1,000 credit if new workers stay on the job a full year. The Social Security trust funds would be reimbursed for the lost revenue.

Second, it would extend highway and mass transit programs through the end of the year and pump $20 billion into them in time for the spring construction season. The money would make up for lower than expected gasoline tax revenues.

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