President Barack Obama plans to sign the stimulus bill into law in Denver on Tuesday after Congress passed the massive $787 billion bill.
Democratic congressional leaders hailed passage of the bill on Friday, even though only three Republicans voted for the bill in the Senate and none voted for it in the House.
"This landmark legislation is the first dramatic new investment in the future since the creation of the interstate highway system a half century ago," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
“It will save or create more than 3.5 million jobs over the next two years, ignite spending for businesses and consumers alike, and lay a new foundation for our lasting economic growth and prosperity,” said Obama during his radio address on Saturday.
However, Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., called it “a long wish list of big government spending that won’t work.”
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act contains the Making Work Pay refundable tax credit that provides up to $400 for working individuals and up to $800 for couples for 2009 and 2010. It also includes a one-time payment of $250 to retirees, disabled individuals and Social Security recipients. The bill would also temporarily increase the earned income tax credit for working families with three or more children to 45 percent of the family’s first $12,570 of earned income.
The bill would also increase the eligibility for the refundable child tax credit in 2009 and 2010. For 2008, the child tax credit is refundable to the extent of 15 percent of the taxpayer’s earned income in excess of $8,500. The bill would reduce this floor for 2009 and 2010 to $3,000.
The bill would also provide an “American Opportunity” education tax credit for 2009 and 2010. The tax credit offers up to $2,500 of the cost of tuition and related expenses during the taxable year.
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