February 14, 2008
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Economy
President Signs Stimulus, Checks to Arrive in May
Immigration
AGC Writes Congress Opposing New Immigration Border and Enforcement Bill

  President Signs Stimulus, Checks to Arrive in May

President Bush signed the 2008 Stimulus legislation into law on Wednesday, which is designed to put cash in the pockets of Americans to stimulate the slowing economy. 

AGC contractors will begin receiving checks as early as May, as the IRS filing season comes to a close.  For most individuals, checks will be $600 or $1,200 per couple, with an additional $300 per child under 17, but begin phasing out at $75,000 per individual or $150,000 per couple.

The law also provides tax relief to businesses through temporary increased small business expensing, which will allow small contractors to write-off $250,000 in equipment purchases, subject to a phase-out at $800,000, until 2008.  Bonus depreciations have also been enhanced through 2008, allowing businesses to write-off 50 percent of depreciable property in this year.

For more information, contact Heidi Blumenthal at blumenthalh@agc.org or (202) 547-8892.

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  AGC Writes Congress Opposing New Immigration Border and Enforcement Bill

This week, recent House attention to the AGC-opposed Secure America through Verification and Enforcement Act (SAVE Act) or (H.R. 4088), prompted AGC to write Congress noting AGC’s continued opposition to the legislation. AGC reiterated its support of comprehensive immigration reform to defend both the economic and national security needs of the nation.

Click here to read the full letter.

The SAVE Act, while seeking to help defend national security needs, is not comprehensive in nature and does not present a viable solution to secure U.S. economic needs.

The SAVE Act, introduced in late 2007, would mandate the use of the E-Verify (formally called Basic Pilot) for all employers to use on both current employees as well as new hires.  Large employers and federal contractors would have to use the program immediately upon enactment of the legislation, with medium and smaller employers having to use the system within four years.  Those current employees who cannot be verified through E-Verify would have to be fired immediately, with no opportunity to try and fix any problems.

The bill would also require that the Social Security Administration (SSA) issue “no-match” letters to any employer with one or more employees with a “no-match” and give only ten days for the employer and/or employee to fix the problem.  It would also allow for information sharing between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and SSA.  The legislation already has 136 co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle.

AGC continues to fight the mandated use of a program that has a high error rate without including language that would set thresholds for SSA and DHS to improve their databases. AGC will work to see improvements made to the liability protections for employers who are required to use the system and take action based on the E-Verify results.

For more information, contact Kelly Knott at knottk@agc.org or (202) 547-4685.
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