BACKGROUND - The U.S. Senate today passed (H.R. 3090) a stimulus bill approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday by a vote of 417-3. The vote in the Senate was 85-9 in favor of the legislation. A provision contained in this "Economic Stimulus" bill allows businesses to take a first-year accelerated depreciation deduction. The legislation allows companies to "expense" 30 percent of new equipment purchases in each year over the next three years, then depreciate the remaining cost of new assets over a normal depreciation schedule. It is designed to encourage business investment in equipment beyond what otherwise would have occurred. The President is expected to sign the bill into law in the next few days. The following response should be attributed to Michael Boland, senior vice president for Federal Legislative Matters for Verizon.
"The leadership of both Houses of Congress is to be commended for their insight and determination in passing this bill, which will stimulate investment and help create jobs in the telecommunications industry.
"The U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives have overwhelmingly approved H.R. 3090, the Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act, an economic stimulus bill that would positively affect the investment capital decisions made in our industry. The legislation allows for 30 percent 'accelerated' depreciation on equipment purchases.
"Most observers agree that we have been in an investment-led recession. Congress today recognized that we need an investment-led recovery. Since last year, Verizon has been advocating this very policy.
"We were joined in this effort by leaders of the high-tech industry. There is a reason why we are together in this. Verizon is one of the biggest buyers of high-tech products and services. We are ready to take advantage of this incentive. It gives a green light to more investment, and more investment means more jobs across the industry.
"This legislation also contains the Liberty Zone proposal - a very important incentive for Lower Manhattan. This is something that is important to America because Lower Manhattan is also known as 'Ground Zero.' It is an important area for Verizon, and we are thrilled that the Liberty Zone proposal has been included in this package.
"The bill now goes to the President for his signature. We urge the President to sign this legislation into law to make corporate America stronger and provide jobs for more Americans."