U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) today applauded the introduction of a companion to their bipartisan American Growth, Recovery, Empowerment and Entrepreneurship Act in the House today by U.S. Representatives Richard Hanna (R-NY-24) and Bill Keating (D-MA-10). The AGREE Act (S.1866), which was introduced in the Senate on Tuesday, stems from areas of agreement between the President's American Jobs Act, recommendations from the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, and proposals put forward by members of both parties in Congress.
"I'm thrilled that our bipartisan AGREE Act has found champions in the House in Representatives Hanna and Keating," Senator Coons said. "America is in a jobs crisis, and while there are ideas that both parties agree can support job creation, Washington has lacked the political will to act on them. We hope the AGREE Act can break the logjam. Senator Rubio and I have heard from many of our colleagues and our constituents this week who share our belief that the AGREE Act is common-sense legislation that will help businesses grow and help revive America's economy. I look forward to working with Senator Rubio, Representative Hanna, and Representative Keating to help this legislation become law."
"The AGREE Act is based on ideas both parties widely support, and I applaud Reps. Hanna and Keating for teaming up in the House to encourage the type of business investment that leads to job creation," Senator Rubio said. "Let's now move forward on these measures to help put people back to work and prove that Washington can at least act on the policies we agree on."
If enacted, the AGREE Act would do the following:
* Extend 100 percent bonus depreciation through 2014 for the full cost of qualified investments such as equipment and property
* Extend Section 179 expensing levels for small businesses through 2014
* Eliminate taxes on certain small business stock through 2014
* Extend the Research & Development tax credit until 2013, increase the Alternative Simplified Credit (ASC) from 14 percent to 20 percent, and makes the ASC permanent
* Provide veterans with a tax credit equal to 25% of the fee associated with starting a franchise up to $100,000
* Provide a five-year exemption from Section 404(b) of Sarbanes-Oxley for the first five years of a company going public, or for those below $250 million in total gross revenue (whichever comes first)
* Eliminate the per-country numerical limitation for employment-based immigrant visas and adjusts the limitations on family based visa petitions from 7% per country to 15%
* Protect intellectual property by clarifying the Trade Secrets Act, and making it explicitly clear that it is not a crime for federal officials, in the performance of their duties, to share information about suspected infringing products with the right holder of a trademarked good