Senate passes portion of Obama's job plan

Nov. 11, 2011 at 11:15 AM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- The Senate approved a portion of President Barack Obama's jobs plan, giving companies a tax credit for hiring unemployed veterans and repealing a business tax.

The Senate unanimously approved the provisions of Obama's jobs plan Thursday.

The veterans package would give companies a $5,600 tax credit for each veteran they hired who had been unemployed for at least six months. A smaller credit is given if the veteran has been unemployed for less than six months.

Bill co-sponsor Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., said, "It's the right thing to do," the Los Angeles Times reported.

Jobless rates for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans remain in the double digits, higher than the 9 percent national unemployment rate.

The second piece of the legislation passed in the Senate Thursday would repeal a 3 percent withholding tax on companies that have contracts with the government, set to take effect in 2013.

The two provisions will now be sent to the House, which is expected to give its approval.

"For one day, at least, partisanship will lose," Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., said.

Experts say although the measures have broad political support, they are not likely to drastically change the economic outlook.

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