By Walter Alarkon - 03/09/10 04:11 AM EST
The House included in the bill an extension of a corporate interest tax set to expire in 2019 by one year. The move will fully offset the measure's cost. Fiscally conservative Blue Dog House Democrats had complained that the Senate version failed to find specific ways to pay for the measure.
The House also included a provision requiring that a certain amount of highway trust fund projects go to businesses owned by "socially and economically disadvantaged individuals." Liberal House members worried that the measure wouldn't do much to address an unemployment rate at 9.7 percent nationally and higher in urban and poorer areas.
Because of the changes the House made to the $15 billion bill, the measure goes back to the Senate. But because the changes are relatively small, the bill is likely to retain the support of centrist Republican senators who voted for the original measure last week.