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WASHINGTON (AP) - The top Republican in the Senate said Sunday
that GOP lawmakers "may well" vote for a jobs bill this week.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., prefers a costlier version drafted
with GOP input and he didn't commit his support to advance the
legislation on Monday to a final vote this coming week.
The pending measure would provide businesses that hire the
unemployed a one-year break from payroll taxes and a $1,000 tax
credit if those workers stay on the job for a full year. The cost
is estimated at $13 billion.
The measure would extend a tax break for small businesses buying
new equipment, provide a $20 billion infusion of highway and
transit money, and help states and local governments finance big
public works projects.
Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., upset Republicans
this month when he scrapped a bipartisan measure that had many more
proposals that weren't directly aimed at boosting job growth.
Reid dumped business tax breaks and other items on wish lists
sought by lobbyists. But he also took out provisions to extend
unemployment insurance for the long-term jobless and health
insurance subsidies for the unemployed that expire on Feb. 28.
A key test vote looms Monday. It would take at least one
Republican to advance Reid's pared back bill to a final vote on
Wednesday. McConnell spokesman Don Stewart said Republicans may try
to slow debate down and seek to restore provisions that have been
dropped, and hope the measure could advance in a few weeks.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)