WASHINGTON — Congress was set to hand President Obama a victory on his signature economic stimulus plan Friday night.
The Senate was poised to pass the legislation by the filibuster-proof, 60-vote threshold, as it awaited Sen. Sherrod Brown (D. Ohio) to return later in the evening to cast the decisive tally. Brown was flying back from his home state after attending his mother’s funeral.
The House passed the $787.2 billion stimulus package by a vote of 246 to 183 earlier in the day without a single Republican vote.
A cornerstone of Obama’s agenda, the measure is the byproduct of contentious negotiations between a group of three moderate Republicans in the Senate, Democratic leaders in both chambers and the White House. Congressional passage of the economic package comes at a time of massive layoffs, including thousands of job cuts at Saks Inc., Target Corp., Macy’s Inc., Liz Claiborne Inc. and The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., to name just a few of the companies that have suffered from the recession and the nosedive in consumer spending.
Obama has pledged the stimulus plan will create 3.5 million jobs by pumping funds into new programs to repair the nation’s aging roads, bridges and highways, as well as alternative energy programs.
“The goal at the heart of this plan is to create jobs,” Obama told members of the Business Council earlier Friday. “Not just any jobs, but jobs doing the work America needs done: repairing our infrastructure, modernizing our schools and hospitals and promoting the clean alternative energy sources that will help us finally declare independence from foreign oil.”
Business tax breaks in the final bill included: 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 youth and recently discharged veterans.
A key business tax break allowing businesses an extension of net operating losses to five years from the current two years was changed in the final bill. It now only provides the tax incentive to small companies with gross receipts of $15 million or less, which upset some retail groups.
Obama’s top priority — tax cuts for the lower and middle class — were also trimmed. Tax breaks were cut from $500 per individual to $400 per individual and from $1,000 per family to $800 per family in the final bill.
Assouline is paying homage to the late Azzedine Alaïa with a reprint of "Alaïa Livre de Collection.” The book is comprised of photographs of the designer's summer 1992 runway show with models Christy Turlington Burns, Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks, pictured here at right. #wwdfashion #alaia #tyrabanks
Fall 2018 accessories take on a painterly hue, with Nebulas Blue among Pantone’s top 10 colors of the season. (📸: @jonghyupstudio ; editor: @twallz21 ; stylist and set designer: @haideefindlaylevin ) #wwdaccessories
@americanapparelusa is relaunching the brand outside of the U.S. today, opening its online store to more than 200 countries. The company is also contemplating a return to brick-and-mortar, though details have not been confirmed. In tandem with the expanded distribution is a recasting of a social media ad campagn, called “Back to Basics,” pictured here, with a focus on diversity and a cast of models above the age of 21. Read more on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Exclusive: @britneyspears is continuing to expand her brand. The pop icon, who appears in @kenzo ’s latest campaign, is partnering with Epic Rights to launch a line of branded merchandise. Read @hernameislex ‘s story, link in bio. #wwdnews #britneyspears
The Duchess of Cambridge channeled Princess Diana’s look upon giving birth to Prince Harry, when she and the Duke of Cambridge departed the hospital with the new baby Prince this afternoon in London. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge
The new Prince of Cambridge has arrived! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge posed with the 8-pound newborn. She wore a look from one of her go-to designers, @jennypackham. Tap link in bio for more. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge
Jewelry label @alisonlou has made a name for itself with fine jewelry that speaks to the Millennial market. Now @twallz21 reports that the label is bringing those playful ideas to a new affordable line of lucite hoops with the launch of Loucite by Alison Lou. Here’s a look from the line modeled by @emrata. #wwdaccessories
@sarahjessicaparker and @gilt are teaming up on a bridal ready-to-wear line. Tomorrow, Parker will launch SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Bridal — and as part of the launch, Gilt will offer 15 exclusive styles from the SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker footwear collection that were designed to complement the new line. Made out of 10 styles, the line is designed for a variety of occasions, from bridal showers to receptions. Get more details on WWD.com #wwdfashion