Senate passes $17.6 billion jobs bill

The Senate passed Wednesday by a vote of 68-29, a $17.6 billion bill (H.R. 2847) that includes billions in tax cuts aimed at encouraging businesses to hire new workers, clearing the measure for President Obama's signature. 

The measure, the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act, delays for a year, from 2010 to 2020, the worldwide interest allocation tax break, offseting about $2 billion of the bill's cost over 10 years, avoiding the need to waive PAYGO rules. 

The jobs bill features a $1,000 hiring and retention tax credit and a payroll tax holiday that total $13 billion to encourage businesses to hire workers who have been unemployed for at least 60 days. It also includes an extension of Build America Bonds used by state and local governments to cut financing costs for infrastructure projects and an extension of increased expensing limits for small businesses.

Under the measure, employers would receive an exemption from Social Security payroll taxes for every worker hired after Feb. 3, 2010, and before Jan. 1, 2011. The bill also allows an additional $1,000 income tax credit for every new employee retained for 52 weeks.

The bill's extension of higher $250,000 limits for tax code Section 179 expensing will allow small businesses to grow by allowing them to write off more of the cost of their 2010 expenditures in lieu of recovering those costs over time through depreciation.

The House passed the measure 217-201 on March 4.