[Update 4:39 p.m.] President Obama is expected to sign the bill on Thursday.
[Posted 10:53 a.m.] Congress put the final seal of approval on a $17.6 billion job creation bill on Wednesday.
The measure, which has gone through many twists and turns in the House and Senate, now heads to President Obama for his signature. It passed the Senate Wednesday by a 68 to 29 vote.
The legislation will:
- Exempt employers from Social Security payroll taxes on new hires who were unemployed.
- Fund highway and transit programs through 2010.
- Extend a tax break for business that spend money on capital investments, such as equipment purchases.
- Expand the use of the Build America Bonds program, which helps states and municipalities fund capital construction projects. The bill is a slimmed down version of an $85 billion bipartisan measure crafted by the Senate Finance Committee last month. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., stripped out these four measures and put them into a separate bill, saying he hoped lawmakers would pass it more quickly.