FACTBOX - U.S. lawmakers strike deal on stimulus bill

Thu Feb 12, 2009 1:24am GMT

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(Reuters) - Negotiators for the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have agreed to a package of $789 billion (548 billion pounds) in emergency spending and tax cuts in an effort to pull the economy out of a deep recession.

Details of the agreement have not been published as budget offices go through the details to calculate the cost of the legislation, but here is a summary of information and rough estimates provided so far by negotiators.

*Tax provisions total $282 billion, with the remaining approximately $507 billion in spending and other provisions.

* A "make work pay" tax credit championed by Obama is $400 for individuals and $800 for couples. Earlier versions called for a tax credit of $500 and $1,000 respectively.

* A tax credit for home buyers worth about $8,000. Earlier proposals put the credit as high as $15,000 and as low as $7,500.

* Temporary alternative minimum tax relief for more than 20 million taxpayers who otherwise would face paying the tax originally meant for the wealthy.

* About $90 billion to help states pay for Medicaid health care for the poor.

* $150 billion for infrastructure including transportation, high-speed Internet service and energy projects.

* $54 billion for a state stabilization fund to help states plug growing budget gaps and pay for school modernization projects. Earlier proposals had put state aid as high as $79 billion and school construction at as much as $16 billion.

* A 60 percent federal subsidy to help laid-off workers keep employer-provided health insurance coverage through COBRA, a federal law that allows workers to temporarily maintain the coverage once provided by employers but at 102 percent of the cost. Negotiators said a House provision that would have allowed unemployed workers to qualify for Medicaid was dropped. An earlier version had the subsidy at 65 percent.

* A tax break for companies allowing them to write off current losses against previous tax years for up to five years, instead of the current two years, has been scaled back from provisions in the bills passed by the House and Senate. Negotiators said the tax break would now be targeted to small businesses.

* Extends unemployment benefits for long-term jobless workers and increases benefit by $25 per week.

* Removes an unintended tax hit for General Motors Corp of up to $10 billion related to December's bailout.

* Provides a tax break for consumers to buy new cars. Negotiators said consumers would be able to deduct state sales taxes, a far smaller tax benefit than a version passed by the Senate.

* Includes $300 million for the federal government to buy more fuel-efficient vehicles.

(Compiled by Donna Smith; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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