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Originally published Sunday, February 8, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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Comparing the stimulus bills in the U.S. Senate and House

Some key components of the Senate's $827 billion economic-recovery plan and the $819 billion House version. Many provisions expire in two years.

Some key components of the Senate's $827 billion economic-recovery plan and the $819 billion House version. Many provisions expire in two years.

Spending

Aid to poor and unemployed

Senate: $47 billion to provide extended unemployment benefits through Dec. 31, increased by $25 a week, and provide job training; $16.5 billion to increase food-stamp benefits by 12 percent through fiscal 2011 and issue a one-time bonus payment; $3 billion in temporary welfare payments.

House: Comparable extension of unemployment insurance; $20 billion to increase food-stamp benefits; $2.5 billion in temporary welfare payments; $1 billion for home-heating subsidies and $1 billion for community-action agencies.

Direct cash payments

Senate: $17 billion to give one-time $300 payments to Social Security recipients, poor people on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and veterans receiving disability and pensions.

House: $4 billion for a one-time additional SSI payment to poor elderly and disabled people of $450 for individuals and $630 for married couples.

Infrastructure

Senate: $46 billion for transportation projects, including $27 billion for highway and bridge construction and repair and $11.5 billion for mass-transit and rail projects.

House: $47 billion for transportation projects, including $27 billion for highway and bridge construction and repair and $12 billion for mass transit.

Health care

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Senate: $21 billion to subsidize health-care insurance for the unemployed under the COBRA program; $87 billion to help states with Medicaid; $22 billion to modernize health-information-technology systems; $10 billion for health research and construction of National Institutes of Health facilities.

House: $40 billion to subsidize health-care insurance for the unemployed under the COBRA program or to provide health care through Medicaid; $87 billion to help states with Medicaid; $20 billion to modernize health-information technology; $4 billion for preventive care; $1.5 billion for community-health centers; $420 million to combat avian flu; $335 million for disease-prevention programs.

Education

Senate: $79 billion in state relief to prevent cuts in education aid and provide block grants; $25 billion to school districts for special education and the No Child Left Behind law; $14 billion to boost Pell Grants; $1.1 billion for Head Start.

House: Similar aid to states and school districts; $21 billion for school modernization; $16 billion to boost Pell Grants; $2 billion for Head Start.

ENERGY

Senate: About $40 billion for energy programs, focused chiefly on efficiency and renewable energy.

House: $28.4 billion for energy-efficiency and renewable-energy programs.

Taxes

New tax credit

House: About $145 billion for $500-a-worker, $1,000-a-couple tax credits in 2009 and 2010. Millions of Americans who don't make enough money to pay federal income taxes could receive checks. Individuals making more than $75,000 and couples making more than $150,000 would receive reduced amounts.

Senate: The credit would phase out at incomes of $70,000 for individuals and couples making more than $140,000, and phase out more quickly, reducing the cost to $140 billion.

EXPANDED CHILD CREDIT

House: $18.3 billion to give greater access to the $1,000-a-child tax credit for the working poor in 2009 and 2010. Under current law, workers must make at least $12,550 to receive any portion of the credit. The change eliminates the floor so workers who pay no federal income taxes could receive checks.

Senate: Sets a new income threshold of $8,100 to receive any portion of the credit, reducing the cost to $7.5 billion.

ALTERNATIVE-MINIMUM TAX

Senate: About $70 billion to spare about 24 million taxpayers from being hit with the alternative-minimum tax in 2009. The change would save a family of four an average of $2,300.

House: No provision

EXPANDED COLLEGE CREDIT

House: $13.7 billion to provide a $2,500 expanded tax credit for college tuition and related expenses for 2009 and 2010. The credit is phased out for couples making more than $160,000.

Senate: Reduces the amount that can be refunded to low-income families that pay no income taxes, lowering cost to $13 billion.

HOMEBUYER CREDIT

House: $2.6 billion to repeal a requirement that a $7,500 first-time-homebuyer tax credit be paid back over time for homes purchased from Jan. 1 to July 1, unless the home is sold within three years. The credit is phased out for couples making more than $150,000.

Senate: Doubles the credit to $15,000 for homes purchased for a year after the bill takes effect, increasing cost to $35.5 billion.

AUTO SALES

Senate: $11 billion to make interest payments on most auto loans and sales tax on cars deductible.

House: No similar provision.

The Associated Press

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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