Cost Estimate of Senate Jobs Bill

The CBO has released its cost estimate of the Senate Jobs bill, the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act, as introduced by Senator Harry Reid last week (compare it to the House jobs bill here). The bill would provide about $15.6 billion in funds directed toward job creation.

On the revenue side, the legislation mainly calls for temporarily exempting the wages of workers hired in 2010 from employer payroll taxes and creating a new tax credit for employers who retain new workers for at least one year. On the spending side, the legislation would extend through this year the authorization for surface transportation programs and would transfer $19.5 billion from the general fund to the highway trust fund.

The bill also includes nearly $17 billion in offsets from changes in foreign account tax compliance, including increased disclosure of beneficial owners, under reporting of foreign assets, and other disclosure provisions.  

Provision 2010-2011 Cost (billions) 2010-2020 Cost (billions)
Tax Incentives for Hiring and Retaining Unemployed Workers $9.8 $13.0
Qualified Tax Credit Bonds -$0.4 $2.3
Extension of Current Surface Transportation Programs^ $0.2 $0.3
Interest Expensing $0.9 *
Sub Total for Job Creation Funds $10.5 $15.6
Offsets -$.8 -$16.7
Total Deficit Impact $9.7 -$1.1

 *Denotes a cost between -$50 million and $50 million.
^Under scoring conventions, CBO does not score the transfer of $19.5 billion from the General Fund to the Highway Trust Fund.  Since the Appropriations Committees would have to pass additional legislation to give the Highway Trust Fund the authority to expend these resources, this legislation would not result in additional outlays.