Senate Passes $18B Jobs Bill

Proponents hope measure will create 250K jobs
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 17, 2010 1:24 PM CDT
Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. and Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., take part in a news conference on Capitol Hill following the Senate passing the jobs bill.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – US companies that hire unemployed workers will get a temporary payroll tax holiday under a bill that easily won final congressional approval today. The 68-29 Senate vote sends the legislation to the White House, where President Obama has promised to sign it into law. Optimistic estimates predict the tax break could generate 250,000 jobs through the end of the year, a tiny fraction of the 8.4 million jobs lost since the start of the recession.

The measure is part of a campaign by Democrats to show they are addressing the unemployment problem, which has been overshadowed by Congress' final push to pass health care legislation. It contains about $18 billion in tax breaks and a $20 billion infusion of cash into highway and transit programs. It exempts businesses that hire the unemployed from paying the 6.2% Social Security payroll tax through December and gives employers an additional $1,000 credit if new workers stay on the job a full year.

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