Obama Signs $17.6 Billion Jobs Bill Into Law
By a 68-to-29 vote, the Senate last week approved H.R. 2847 — a $17.6 billion jobs bill. The measure, which had jumped back and forth between the House and Senate in recent weeks, was signed into law by President Obama on March 18.
The centerpiece of the legislation will spare businesses from paying the 6.2% Social Security tax through the end of this year on new hires who have been unemployed for at least 60 days. Companies also will receive a tax credit of up to $1,000 for each of these new employees who stay on the job for at least one year.
The bill also includes a one-year extension of the Highway Trust Fund, an expansion of the Build America Bonds program and a provision allowing small businesses to write off up to $250,000 in equipment purchases this year.
"It is the first of what I hope will be a series of jobs packages that help to continue to put people back to work all across America," Obama said after the bill's passage.
Both chambers are preparing additional bills designed to stimulate new hiring and help small businesses.
On March 17, the House Ways and Means Committee approved H.R. 4849, legislation that would eliminate capital gains taxes on certain small-business stock purchased between March 15, 2010 and Jan. 1, 2012. The bill would also extend the Build America Bonds program and increase the amount of deductions for start-up business expenditures. The bill also establishes a tax credit exchange program for 4% Low-Income Housing Tax Credits.
In addition, the House and Senate are working to reconcile bills that include one-year extensions of unemployment insurance and COBRA health benefits, as well as renewal for 2010 of a broad range of tax credits that are due to expire. These include two high-priority items for NAHB members — the New Energy Efficient Homes Credit (45L credit) and the 9% Tax Credit Exchange Program for Low-Income Housing Tax Credit development.
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For more information, e-mail Greg Brown at NAHB, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8421.