Senator Jim Bunning, R-Ky., has stepped out of the way of a request by Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to advance a $10 billion package that would fund additional unemployment benefits, highway construction and Medicare provisions. Bunning wanted it paid for and fellow Senators agreed to allow Bunning to offer an amendment that would fund the legislation; however it failed.
Many lawmakers, especially those up for re-election this year don't want to raise any taxes to pay for more federal expenditures. So, they have turned their attention to jobs and tax incentives. They appear willing to spend $150 billion to extend key energy and tax provisions, as part of the American Workers, State and Business Relief Act, or jobs bill. The legislation would not be paid for under pay-as-you-go rules.
The legislation would provide for the extension of a five-year recovery period for machinery or equipment purchases. It would also extend emergency disaster assistance; tax incentives for biodiesel and renewable diesel; extension and modification of Alternative Fuels Credit; and Taxation of Qualified Timer Gain and Timer REIT provisions.