Senate Democrats have begun circulating a draft version of the jobs bill they plan to introduce, with a series of tax breaks and tax extenders designed to lure Republican support.
The draft bill includes a proposal to exempt companies from paying Social Security payroll taxes for new employees who had been unemployed for a minimum of 60 days this year, according to the Associated Press. The proposals comes from a bipartisan pair of senators, Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who recently described the proposal in a New York Times op-ed column (see Schumer and Hatch Call for Payroll Tax Break).
Other provisions would renew over 40 business tax breaks that had expired at the end of last year, including deductions for sales and property taxes, a tax credit for research and development, and a tax credit for biodiesel fuel.
Other provisions would extend unemployment benefits and COBRA health insurance subsidies, and postpone a 21 percent cut in Medicare payments for physicians until Sept. 30.
The $10 billion bill aims to create 50,000 to 90,000 jobs through September of this year and 80,000 to 180,000 jobs in 2011. The bill also includes some revenue-raising provisions to pay for itself, including stiffer penalties against international tax evasion and the closing of some tax loopholes, such as one that benefits paper manufacturers.
The House narrowly passed its own jobs bill in December, but the Senate appears unlikely to take up that bill, which has attracted little support from Republicans.
President Obama is also pushing for the jobs bill to include a $5,000 tax credit for new hires, along with increased infrastructure spending, incentives for clean energy businesses, and the elimination of capital gains taxes on investments in small business. He met with Democratic and Republican leaders on Tuesday to discuss the jobs bill and other legislative priorities, including health care reform and energy policy.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said last week that he planned to introduce the jobs bill this week, but the snowstorm in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday has apparently delayed that goal until at least next week.
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