On the Stimulus, the Senate Votes; UPDATE: Passes, 61-37

By February 10, 2009Economy, Taxation

The Senate has begun voting on final passage of H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the stimulus bill. (Readthestimulus.org) UPDATE: Passes 61-37. Roll call vote here.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in his final floor statment before the votes, noted support for the bill from a variety of groups, including the National Association of Manufacturers, the Chamber, and the AFL-CIO.

The Hill reported on support for the bill from business groups today, “Business groups that sought tax cuts now back centrist-brokered stimulus.” Excerpt:

“Unless significant changes are made, we will key-vote the bill that comes to a vote in the Senate” on Tuesday, said Dorothy Coleman, NAM’s vice president for tax and domestic economic policy.

NAM, which has come under attack from some Democrats for being tied too closely to the GOP, did not score the vote last week in the House.

Coleman also said that she wished more Republicans would be drawn to the stimulus and end up for voting for it.

“I hope so. We are in extraordinary times. We feel a balanced spending and tax relief package to revitalize our economy is needed. All of our members are on the frontlines of this crisis and are very eager to see some help from Washington,” Coleman said.

Tax cuts geared toward businesses, along with increased federal spending on infrastructure in the Senate bill, have attracted business  support.

The NAM did, indeed, “Key Vote” the bill. NAM Executive Vice President Jay Timmons sent a Key Vote letter to the Senate this morning.  You can read the letter in the extended entry immediately below:

February 10, 2009

Dear Senators:

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the nation’s largest industrial trade association representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states, urges you to support key pro-manufacturing provisions in H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

NAM members believe a balanced tax and investment package designed to help job providers and the people who depend on them will go a long way to spur economic revitalization. Legislation that combines timely, targeted tax incentives and increased investment in areas critical to our competitiveness will help get our nation’s economy back on track and ensure job creation and sustainable economic growth.

To this end, we strongly support a number of provisions in the Senate version of H.R. 1 that will have a positive and immediate impact on our economy, including:
· Net Operating Loss (NOL) relief, which would provide an infusion of cash for struggling companies of all sizes;
· Enhanced expensing and bonus depreciation;
· AMT and R&D Credit monetization to help struggling companies make investments;
· Energy efficiency tax incentives and investments in energy resources;
· Funding for transportation infrastructure projects;
· Funding and incentives for expanded broadband deployment and basic R&D;
· Funding for health information technology (Health IT);
· Funding for key job training programs;
· An enhanced temporary home buyer tax credit;
· Tax relief for cancellation of indebtedness income; and
· Incentives for new car buyers.
The NAM stands ready to work with you and your colleagues in the House of Representatives to further improve the legislation. Nevertheless, we believe it warrants your support in its current form.
The NAM’s Key Vote Advisory Committee has indicated that votes on H.R. 1, including potential procedural motions, may be considered for designation as Key Manufacturing Votes in the 111th Congress. Thank you for your consideration.


Jay Timmons

Executive Vice President



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