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Highlights of Senate jobs bill

Highlights of pared-back jobs legislation unveiled on Thursday.


Hiring tax credits — Exempts businesses hiring unemployed workers in 2010 from the 6.2 percent Social Security payroll tax for those hires and provides an additional $1,000 tax credit for workers retained for a full year. Cost: $13 billion.

Highway programs — Reauthorizes the highway trust fund to use gasoline taxes to help state and local governments pay for highway and transit projects. Deposits an additional $20 billion into the trust fund.

Equipment write-offs — Permits businesses to write off equipment purchases as a business expense.

Build America Bonds — Expands the Build America Bonds program, subsidizing interest costs for bonds issued by states and local governments for large infrastructure projects. Cost: $2 billion.


Tax extenders — Extending through 2010 a variety of popular tax breaks that expired at the end of 2009, including an income tax deduction for sales and property taxes and a business tax credit for research and development. Cost: $31 billion.

Unemployment assistance — Extending through May 31 unemployment assistance for the long-term jobless and a 65 percent health insurance subsidy for the unemployed. Cost: $3 billion.

Medicare payments — Giving doctors a seven-month reprieve from a 21 percent cut in Medicare payments that would otherwise go into effect March 1. Extends several other Medicare provisions. Cost: $10 billion.

Patriot Act — Extending for a year several provisions of the USA Patriot Act slated to expire Feb. 28. The act, which is the nation's primary anti-terrorism tool, authorizes law enforcement and intelligence agencies to conduct court-ordered surveillance and seizure of records and property in counterterrorism operations.

Farm aid — Help for farmers affected by heavy rains, floods and other weather-related disasters. Cost: about $1.5 billion.