By Walter Alarkon - 03/17/10 02:47 PM EDT
The bill passed on a 68-29 vote, with nearly all Democrats and 11 Republicans backing it.
"We have found a way to hire workers, help businesses that hire them with tax cuts and keep it budget-neutral," said Sen. Charles SchumerCharles SchumerImmigration was barely covered in the debates GOP leaders advise members to proceed with caution on Trump Senate Dems demand answers from Wells Fargo over treatment of military MORE (D-N.Y.), who crafted the hiring tax break with Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin HatchGOP lawmakers ask IRS to explain M wasted on unusable email system GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election Schumer says Pacific trade pact may have enough votes to pass the Senate MORE (R-Utah).
The bill is fully paid for by increasing enforcement of foreign account taxes, delaying the implementation of a tax break on worldwide interest and raising the corporate estimate tax on large corporations.
The bill also includes new low-cost federal bonds for state and local government infrastructure programs, an extension of the highway trust fund for federal transportation projects and an extension of a tax break allowing companies to write off losses due to depreciating equipment.
Obama has said he will sign the bill.
Before passing the bill, Democrats and a handful of centrist Republicans voted to waive a budget point of order against the bill raised by Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.). Gregg said the bill would raise spending levels above those set by the budget resolution last year.
"It spends more than their own budget called for," Gregg said of the bill.
The one Democrat to vote against the bill was Sen. Ben Nelson (Neb.). The 11 Senate Republicans who voted for it were Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderObama meets a crossroads for his healthcare law Music streamer Spotify joins Gillibrand’s push for paid family leave GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election MORE (Tenn.), Kit Bond (Mo.), Scott Brown (Mass.), Richard BurrRichard BurrGOP: Obama ‘in denial’ about healthcare law failures NC Senate ad slams Burr for standing by Trump Poll: Trump, Clinton in close race in North Carolina MORE (N.C.), Thad Cochran (Miss.), Susan CollinsSusan CollinsRepublican opposition to raising the minimum wage Is crumbling 5 takeaways from the Indiana Senate debate GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election MORE (Maine), Jim InhofeJames InhofeGOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election A dozen senators call for crackdown on Chinese steel Funding bill rejected as shutdown nears MORE (Okla.), George LeMieux (Fla.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiWriting in Mike Pence won’t do any good in these states GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election Trump campaign left out of Alaska voter guide MORE (Alaska), Olympia Snowe (Maine) and George Voinovich (Ohio).
Senate Democrats have said this is the first of a string of measures aimed at cutting the 9.7 percent unemployment rate.
The next item Senate Democrats will take up is measures to increase lending for small businesses, Schumer said.
Other measures Senate Democrats said they're considering are tax incentives to have property owners improve the energy efficiency of homes and buildings, an advanced manufacturing tax credit and a 6-year surface transportation reauthorization bill for road, rail and highway projects.
-- This article was updated at 11:44 a.m.