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.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)