Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

House Approves Remains of Clinton's Jobs Bill

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

House Approves Remains of Clinton's Jobs Bill

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Congress shipped President Clinton the remnants of his jobs bill on Thursday as the administration sent conflicting signals over whether it might discard another of his economic proposals, an investment tax credit.

By a 301-114 vote, the House gave final congressional approval to $4 billion worth of jobless benefits, the sole surviving piece of the jobs measure that minority Senate Republicans effectively killed with a filibuster. After failing four times to halt debate, Democrats gave up on the larger jobs measure Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, doubts emerged Thursday over another piece of Clinton's economic package, his proposal to give businesses more than $20 billion in tax credits for purchases of job-creating equipment.

White House spokeswoman Dee Dee Myers would not reaffirm administration backing for the proposal. "We're looking at it right now. I'm not ruling it in, I'm not ruling it out," she told reporters at the regular White House news briefing.

But Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen, asked if the administration was considering withdrawing the credit, said, "No, we're not."

The proposal has run into problems in Congress. House Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski, D-Ill., Senate Finance Committee Chairman Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y., and other Democrats have expressed opposition to the plan because they believe it would create loopholes for businesses.

Even many businesses for which the credit is designed have said they don't want it and would rather avoid the 2 percent increase Clinton has proposed in corporate income taxes.

Whatever the future of the credit, Clinton officials blasted Republicans for the filibuster that thwarted the job bill and quickly vowed to resurrect parts of the measure.

Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros called GOP victory in the Senate "a hard shot to the gut" of Clinton's economic plan.

The Republican "painted themselves into a corner, supporting unemployment money but opposing a bill to provide money to actually provide jobs," White House budget chief Leon Panetta said in an interview. "The president isn't going to give up trying to create jobs. …

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