US Senate OKs Jobs Bill for Obama

March 17, 2010

Just off the newswire, today the Senate approved, by a bipartisan vote of 68 to 29, the Jobs bill and will send it to President Obama's desk.

The bill would give employers an exemption from paying the 6.2 percent payroll tax on new employees' earnings until the end of the year on workers they hire who have been unemployed for at least 60 days. If those workers stay on for a full year, businesses will also get a $1,000 tax credit. The employee's pay would still be subject to the usual personal income taxes. The business tax breaks would add up to about $15 billion in all.

It also provides an extra $20 billion for road and bridge construction and extends the federal highway program through year-end. The Transportation Department furloughed roughly 2,000 workers earlier this month because of a temporary freeze in the program.

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