The Associated Press February 24, 2010, 11:54AM ET

Tale of 2 jobs bills

The jobs bill passed by the Senate Wednesday is significantly smaller than one passed by the House in December. Key features of the two bills:

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Senate bill:

--Total cost: $35 billion.

--$13 billion for a tax credit for companies that hire unemployed workers. The provision exempts employers from paying the 6.2 percent Social Security payroll tax this year on newly hired workers that have been unemployed for 60 days or more, and provides an additional $1,000 tax credit for workers retained for at least a year.

--$20 billion to reauthorize through the end of 2010 the federal highway trust fund, which uses gasoline taxes to help state and local governments pay for highway and transit projects.

-- $35 million tax break for businesses, permitting them to write off equipment as a business expense rather than depreciating them over time.

--$2.3 million to expand the Build America Bonds program to subsidize the interest costs of bonds to include certain school and energy projects.

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House bill:

--Total cost: $174 billion.

--$36 billion for highways and mass transit.

--$20 billion to reauthorize through the end of 2010 the highway trust fund.

--$23 billion to pay teacher salaries in an attempt to save or create 250,000 jobs.

--$2 billion for job training, summer jobs for teenagers and for AmeriCorps.

--$500 million to retain or hire firefighters.

--$1.2 billion to put 5,500 law enforcement officials on the beat.

--$2.3 billion to extend the $1,000-per-child tax credit to 16 million poor families.

--$24 billion to states for Medicaid for the poor and disabled.

--$41 billion to extend emergency unemployment benefits for six months.

--$12.3 billion for health insurance subsidies for long-term jobless workers.

--$600 million for improvements to airports and seaports.

--$2.8 billion for water projects.

--$2 billion for housing renovations.


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