House Approves Tweaked Senate Jobs Bill

Posted March 4, 2010 at 3:08pm

The House on Thursday narrowly passed, 217-201, a $17.6 billion amended version of the Senate jobs package.

House Democratic leaders were forced to make several adjustments to the Senate plan to appease various factions of their Caucus.

In response to concerns from fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats, the House package was fully offset. It also includes a proposal backed by the Congressional Black Caucus that directs states to allocate some of the transportation funds to “minority-owned contractors,” according to a Democratic aide.

Even with the changes, 35 Democrats — many who believed that the bill didn’t do enough to reverse the nation’s jobless rate — voted against the bill.

Supporters of the package argue it would create jobs by offering critical incentives for small businesses to hire new employees. It also includes expense deductions for small businesses, extends the Highway Trust Fund and provides funding for the Build America Bonds program.

The changes will send the bill back to the Senate.