WASHINGTON (AP) - Democrats are hoping to send President Barack Obama the first of several election-year job bills that have been promised.
A measure coming up for a House vote today includes tax breaks for companies that hire unemployed workers and highway funding eagerly sought by states.
The bill would exempt businesses hiring the jobless from the 6.2 percent Social Security payroll tax through December and give them an additional $1,000 credit if new workers stay on the job a full year.
Economists such as Mark Zandi of Moody's Economy.com say the tax credit could create about 250,000 new jobs.
The bill would also extend highway and mass transit programs through the end of the year and pump in $20 billion for the spring construction season. The money would make up for lower-than-expected gasoline tax revenues.