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Mar 17, 2010 9:30 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Senate poised to approve jobs bill

The Senate is taking up a temporary tax break for companies that hire unemployed workers.

The legislation contains about $18 billion in tax breaks and a $20 billion infusion of cash into highway and transit programs. It would exempt businesses hiring the unemployed from the 6.2 percent Social Security payroll tax through December and give employers an additional $1,000 credit if new workers stay on the job a full year.

The Social Security trust funds would be reimbursed for the lost revenue. The measure is the first of several election-year jobs bills promised by Democrats. Critics question how much the bill will do to boost hiring.

President Barack Obama has promised to sign the measure into law.

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