Sen. Carper Applauds Passage of Bipartisan Legislation to Provide Tax Relief for American Businesses and Extend Unemployment Benefits

WASHINGTON (March 10, 2010) – Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) today voted for the American Workers, State, and Business Relief Act (AWSBRA), bipartisan legislation which will provide American businesses with the certainty they need to make investments and create jobs while additionally helping struggling families by extending unemployment benefits.
“The government cannot create jobs, but it can create an environment where business – especially small business – can create jobs,” said Sen. Carper. “By extending tax credits like the biodiesel tax credit – which will directly benefit the Mid-Atlantic Biodiesel plant in Clayton, Delaware – this bill, along with other actions Congress has taken, will help spur our economic recovery.
“While we’re working to improve the overall economic environment, the bill also extends unemployment insurance, COBRA premium assistance, and assistance to states for Medicaid, which will help struggling families and communities.
“This bill is just one more step in a series of actions that my colleagues in Congress and I will be taking to create more jobs and strengthen the economy.” 
A summary of the bill’s key provisions follows:
Tax Extenders: The bill extends individual, business, and energy tax provisions that already expired on December 31, 2009.  The bill retroactively extends these provisions from January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2010.  Included among these provisions are the R&D tax credit, the biodiesel tax credit (which is critical to Delaware), the renewable diesel credit, the state and local sales tax deduction, the alternative motor vehicle credit, and several dozen other provisions. 
Unemployment Insurance: The bill extends current law regarding Unemployment Insurance through December 31, 2010.  Current law provides Federal unemployment benefits (on top of state benefits) of 34 weeks in all states, plus an additional 13 weeks in states above 6% unemployment (for a total of 47 weeks), and finally, an additional 6 weeks in states above 8.5% unemployment (for a total of 53 weeks)—including Delaware, which is currently has a 9% unemployment rate. 
COBRA Premium Assistance: The bill extends the 65% COBRA premium subsidy for terminated workers through December 31, 2010. 
Federal Assistance to States for Medicaid Expenses: The bill extends for sixth months the increased Federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) made available to states in last year’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, through June 30, 2011. 
Small Business, Pension, and Other Provisions: The bill includes a number of smaller provisions, including a delay in the Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula, pension funding relief, certain Small Business Administration (SBA) loan provisions that were part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and expired in February, and several other minor provisions.