This was a procedural vote on a resolution setting a time limit for debate and determining which amendments could be offered to legislation providing small businesses with tax incentives intended to spur job creation. If passed, this particular procedural motion -- known as the “previous question" -- effectively ends debate and brings the pending legislation to an immediate vote.
The job creation bill also expanded the "Build America Bond program," which provides subsidies to state and local governments for bonds intended for infrastructure projects. Current law provides subsidies for bonds issued prior to January 1, 2011. This bill extended the subsidy program to bonds issued prior to April 1, 2013. H.R. 4849 also increased taxes on U.S. subsidiaries of foreign corporations employing American workers.
Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-CA) urged support for the legislation: "The small businesses of America form the backbone of economic growth in our country. In fact, they are responsible for creating three out of every four jobs in the United States. That is why with this bill we are continuing to foster their growth and entrepreneurial spirit…This bill extends the Recovery Act's Build America Bonds program. To date, State and local governments have financed well over $78 billion in infrastructure projects using this tool to create jobs and help improve water utilities, sewers, schools, hospitals, transit buses, and other public projects."
Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL) criticized the legislation, arguing it would raise taxes but fail to create jobs: "This bill does not create jobs just because the majority has slapped `jobs' on the title of the bill. This bill is nothing more than a hodgepodge of narrow, targeted tax provisions that will not create new jobs. Although it's sold as a jobs bill, it actually amounts to a net tax increase at a time when Congress should be lowering taxes in order to encourage job growth. In this legislation, the largest tax is a $7.7 billion one on foreign companies located in the United States employing American workers."
The House agreed to the motion ordering the previous question by a vote of 240-179. 240 Democrats voted "yea." All 174 Republicans present and 5 Democrats voted "nay." As a result, the House proceeded to a final vote on a resolution setting a time limit for debate and determining which amendments could be offered to a bill providing small businesses with tax incentives intended to spur job creation and expanding a bond program for infrastructure projects.