Senate Approves Extension Of UI, COBRA Benefits Through 2010March 10, 2010 - by Eric Naing
The Senate has just passed a $140 billion bill includes an extension for unemployment benefits through the end of the year, tax credits and billions in emergency aid to states.
One week after approving a 30-day extension of unemployment benefits (H.R.4691), the Senate today passed the American Workers, State, and Business Relief Act (H.R.4321), which provides a longer-term extension of those benefits. Specifically, the bill extends federal unemployment assistance through Dec. 31 and provides a 65 percent subsidy for COBRA health insurance premiums. The coverage is retroactive to Feb. 28.
Other provisions in the bill include:
- A seven-month delay in Medicare cuts to doctors costing $7billion
- $25 billion in federal dollars to help states prevent layoffs of public employees like teachers and police officers
- $26 billion in tax credits to encourage things like research and development and alternative energy
To compensate for part of the $140 billion price tag, the bill closes the “black liquor” tax credit for paper companies and further cracks down on tax shelters. These revenue-generating measure may spell trouble when the bill goes back to the House for approval as both of these ideas have already been incorporated into President Obama’ s health care plan.
For more information, check out my previous post on the subject here.