President Bush encouraged Congress to pass the economic stimulus package he agreed to with House leaders without adding extra provisions.

“I strongly believe it would be a mistake to delay or derail this bill,” he said, adding, “I understand the desire to add provisions from both the right and the left,” according to the Associated Press.

Bush is especially worried about attempts to add back some of the provisions that House leaders had agreed to drop, including the extension of unemployment benefits, expanded food stamp benefits and higher home heating subsidies. The bill will go first to the House and then the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., hopes to send the package for Bush’s signature by Feb. 15. The first rebate checks are expected to go out in the mail in May.

The $150 billion package includes about $100 billion worth of rebate checks for 117 million families and $50 billion for businesses to invest in new plants and equipment. A temporary change to the Tax Code will allow businesses to deduct an additional 50 percent of the cost of equipment, software and tangible property. The agreement also increases expensing for small businesses for equipment purchases.

Most individual taxpayers will receive $600 in rebates, working couples will get $1,200, and those with children will get an extra $300 per child. In addition, 35 million families that pay no taxes but earn at least $3,000 will receive $300 rebates. The relief will be available to everyone with adjusted gross income less than $75,000 for singles and $150,000 for married couples filing jointly.


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