Democrats say they wrote legislation before the Senate this week that gives small businesses tax breaks for boosting payroll with an eye toward attracting Republican support. They probably aren't going to get it.
Senior Republicans suggested on Tuesday that they are likely to block the bill later this week on procedural grounds. They are demanding an open amendment process that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, according to staff, will not allow.
The likely failure of the measure, which is on President Obama's "checklist" of jobs bills, will leave Democrats accusing the GOP of blocking the measure to deny Obama a win. Republicans call the bill a naked political ploy and that Democrats have no real interest in passing the legislation. Debate on the bill looks likely to offer a warm-up for a fight over whether to extend the George W. Bush tax cuts that will gain steam with symbolic House and Senate votes on the matter as soon as next week.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said today that Senate Finance Committee ranking member Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, will offer an amendment that would extend all the Bush tax cuts for one year.
The Senate bill would give businesses a tax credit worth 10 percent of any amount by which they increase payrolls. By capping the credits at $500,000, the bill aims to primarily help small businesses. The measure would also extend for a year a 100 percent rate under which businesses claim bonus depreciation tax deductions on capital investments--a provision Republicans generally support.