WASHINGTON — House Democrats, working with President-elect Barack Obama, unveiled an $825 billion economic recovery package on Thursday to create jobs, help workers hurt by global trade and put money back in the hands of consumers.
In addition, Congress approved the release of the final $350 billion of the $700 billion financial bailout as the Senate rejected blocking the funds by a 52-42 vote.
Progress on the stimulus package, and on the infusion of government funds into Bank of America Corp., helped retail shares advance 3.9 percent, their second-strongest rise this year.
Seeking to combat the worst U.S. recession in decades, the economic proposal would provide $275 billion in tax cuts to workers and businesses and $550 billion for domestic spending programs over two years. The legislation aims to create or save 3 million to 4 million jobs by pumping funds into new programs to repair the nation’s aging roads, bridges and highways, as well as alternative energy programs and education initiatives.
“This recovery package will provide tremendous tax relief, health care and job training benefits for families struggling to make ends meet, while also giving businesses the boost they need to create new jobs,” said House Ways and Means Committee chairman Charles Rangel (D., N.Y.).
House Democrats said they are pushing for passage of the economic stimulus legislation by mid-February. The Senate has not unveiled its version.
Democrats dropped a key provision from the legislation proposed by Obama that would have given a $3,000 tax credit for each new job created by private companies. However, leaders added a provision that had not been promoted directly by Obama — an expansion and overhaul of trade adjustment assistance, a federal program that provides aid to workers who lose their jobs due to international trade.
The bill would expand that program to service workers who lose their jobs and extend coverage to manufacturing workers. Workers would also receive a total of $43 billion for increased unemployment benefits and job training over two years.
On the tax front, the package provides a $500 tax credit for individuals and $1,000 for families. Business tax breaks include an extension of net operating losses to five years to allow businesses to more easily borrow funds, extending a 50 percent bonus depreciation for two years, an extension of small business expensing and expansion of the work opportunity tax credit for unemployed and troubled youths and recently discharged veterans.
In separate action, Rangel reintroduced a trade enforcement bill with Rep. Sander Levin (D., Mich.) that would create a congressional trade enforcer to investigate barriers to U.S. exports.
Meanwhile, the Standard & Poor’s Retail Index rose 10.29 points to 274.94. The index rallied as much as 5.7 percent before losing ground in the final hour of trading.
Weighing the impact of the global slowdown on fashion, Moody’s Investors Service cut its debt ratings on Marks and Spencer Group plc and Quiksilver Inc.
Marks and Spencer’s senior unsecured and short-term debt ratings were reduced to “Baa3/P-3” from “Baa2/P-2.” The outlook is stable.
Quiksilver’s corporate family and probability of default ratings were lowered to “B3” from “B2” and the rating on the firm’s $400 million in senior unsecured notes was cut to “Caa1” from “B3.” Debt with a “Caa” grade is deemed to be “subject to very high credit risk.” The outlook is negative.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)