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The Senate passes, 70-28, its first installment of economic stimulus of the year, including $16 billion in tax cuts aimed at encouraging businesses to hire new workers. The bill (H.R. 2847) features a $13 billion tax credit to encourage businesses to hire workers who have been unemployed for at least 60 days, an extension of Build America Bonds used by state and local governments to cut financing costs for infrastructure projects, and an extension of increased expensing limits for small businesses. Under the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act, employers would receive an exemption from Social Security payroll taxes for every worker hired after Feb. 3, 2010, and before Jan. 1, 2011. The bill also allows an additional $1,000 income tax credit for every new employee retained for 52 weeks.
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