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Plan B on Obama jobs bill is to take it up piecemeal. What will fly?

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• New tax breaks for small businesses, to hire workers. Combining tax cuts and small business has broad appeal across party lines. The kicker is how to pay for it. The White House proposes expanding employer tax credits for hiring disabled veterans (up to $4,800) and unemployed veterans (up to $2,400), which are now set to expire at the end of this year. “We believe there is an opportunity to make meaningful and significant progress in this area,” said House Republicans in a Sept. 16 memo responding to Mr. Obama’s jobs proposal.

• $50 billion for roads and school repairs, and $10 billion for a new “national infrastructure bank.” Anything that smacks of stimulus spending is suspect to Republicans, but infrastructure is one topic on Capitol Hill that often has bipartisan agreement to spend more. House Republicans say some 100 existing federal transportation programs are duplicative and waste money on mandatory set asides. They propose resolving these issues in the current debate over a multiyear transportation authorization bill.

• $30 billion in new aid to local governments to prevent layoffs of teachers, firefighters, and police. This is a hard sell for Republicans, who described a similar $53.6 billion item in Obama’s 2009 stimulus plan as pandering to his party’s base, especially powerful teachers unions. They also criticize the proposal for providing one-time raises or a reprieve, then jolting workers later when the money runs out.

• $15 billion to refurbish foreclosed homes. A nonstarter for Republicans, who say a similar program for $7 billion in Neighborhood Stabilization grants didn’t work.

• $450 billion in tax hikes on incomes over $1 million. Democrats proposed a 5.6 percent surcharge as an alternative to Obama’s suggested hike on incomes over $250,000, including cuts to charitable deductions. The president backed the switch. But tax cuts are toxic to most Republicans, who dubbed the millionaires' tax “class warfare.”

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