Stimulus Plan Passes; New Auto Team to be Established - aftermarketNews

Stimulus Plan Passes; New Auto Team to be Established

Automakers to submit turnaround plans to Congress tomorrow.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Following passage of the $787 billion economic stimulus package late last week, President Barack Obama is expected to sign the bill today. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 60-38. The House vote was 246-183.

Being touted by the President as a “major milestone” on the road to economic recovery, the legislation is said to be the costliest ever considered by Congress. The measure will provide tax relief to 95 percent of Americans by way of $400 rebates for individuals and $800 for couples, in addition to funding support for those who have lost jobs due to the recession. The bill also includes financial support for the development of green jobs, in addition to providing billions of dollars to states to aid schools and local governments and major transportation and technology projects.

Also included in the legislation is an amended version of the Auto Ownership Tax Assistance, which was whittled down from a $11.5 billion tax break down to $1.7 billion in the final version of the bill, with tighter limits on who qualifies. The total cost of the package is estimated to be $790 billion. This provision creates a new tax deduction for state and local sales taxes paid on new car purchases.
 
After signing the measure, President Obama is expected to today name a team to serve as a taskforce to oversee the turnaround of the U.S. auto industry. According to media reports, rather than appointing a single ‘car czar,’ the Presidential Task Force on Autos will act together to judge whether GM and Chrysler are making enough progress to keep the $17.4 billion in loans they received. The automakers are due to submit their turnaround plans to lawmakers on Tuesday.

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