Senate vote advances $15 billion jobs bill

The Senate voted 70-28 today to pass a $15 billion Democratic plan to create more jobs, according to The New York Times.

The bill would give employers a temporary exemption from payroll taxes for newly hired workers who had been unemployed for 60 days or more. It also would boost spending on public works projects and accelerate tax write-offs to encourage business investment.

Fifty-five Democrats, 13 Republicans and two independents voted in favor of the jobs measure, which is the first bill in a long time to receive bipartisan support.

Still, Democrats faced a procedural objection when Republicans argued the bill violates budget rules because it shifts as much as $20 billion into highway projects, adding to the federal deficit. However, Democrats said the money was due to be repaid later and would not increase the deficit. Although the objection was overridden, Republicans insist Democrats are breaking budget enforcement rules mere weeks after the rules were established.

The jobs bill now advances to the House, and Democrats hope the bill will be approved quickly.

Date : 2/25/2010