WASHINGTON – Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) issued the following statement today after the Senate passed the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act by a vote of 68 to 29. The legislation now goes to President Obama for his signature:
“Slowly but surely we are witnessing signs of economic recovery and even economic growth. While this is encouraging, we know that this progress is fragile and Congress must provide a nurturing environment where businesses – particularly small businesses – can thrive and hire again.
“Today’s final passage of the bipartisan HIRE Act is an important part of an aggressive jobs agenda that Congress is pursuing. Just last week we passed the American Workers, State, and Business Relief Act (AWSBRA), bipartisan legislation that will provide American businesses with the certainty they need to make investments and create jobs while additionally helping struggling families by extending unemployment benefits. In the coming months we will push for additional measures to rebuild our economy and put Americans back to work.
“This jobs legislation includes a number of bipartisan, commonsense solutions that will strengthen our economy. Initiatives like a payroll tax holiday for hiring unemployed workers; incentives to put people to work in good-paying jobs building roads, highways and bridges; and tax breaks to encourage small businesses to make capital investments that will improve efficiency, encourage competition, and spur hiring.”
Background Information on Key Provisions of the Legislation Follows:
Jobs Payroll Tax Holiday: The jobs bill offers businesses an exemption from the employer portion of Social Security payroll taxes (FICA) for every worker hired in 2010 who has been unemployed for at least 60 days. The maximum value would be equal to 6.2 percent of wages up to the Social Security payroll tax wage cap ($106,800 this year). There would also be an additional $1,000 tax credit for every new employee retained for 52 weeks, to be taken on the employer’s 2011 income tax return.
Build America Bonds: In an effort to reduce the cost of borrowing for state and local governments, the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act created a new type of state and local bond for a range of qualifying infrastructure projects (including roads, rail, bridges, ports, public buildings, public schools, etc.), in which 35 percent of the interest on these bonds is paid by the Federal government. The jobs bill expands the Build America Bond program by raising the percentage of interest costs paid by the Federal government.
Small Business Investment (Extension of Section 179 Expensing): The jobs bill extends the expensing provisions in place for 2008 and 2009 (as enacted in the Recovery Act) into 2010. Under this provision, known as “section 179 expensing,” many qualified small business taxpayers may elect to immediately write-off up to $250,000 of certain qualified capital expenditures instead of depreciating those costs over a number of years. This provision is designed to provide a stronger incentive for small businesses to make capital investments in machines and equipment.
Highway Trust Fund: The jobs bill would extend highway and transit programs through calendar year 2010.
Offset: This legislation is fully paid for by cracking down on offshore tax avoidance and by delaying the enactment of certain international tax provisions.