The U.S. Senate won’t vote until next week at the earliest on proposals to extend both an $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers and unemployment benefits for the nation’s jobless. The administration endorses an extension.
Senate action was delayed by a Republican demand that a vote be allowed on an amendment to end the Treasury Department’s Troubled Asset Relief Program at the end of this year.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, balked yesterday at the demand by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican. Reid also took procedural steps to end debate and schedule Senate action on extending the homebuyer tax credit and the unemployment benefits.
“I think the first-time home-buyer credit is a great example of funding that’s helped to stabilize the housing market and should be extended,” Jared Bernstein, chief economist to Vice President Joe Biden, said on Bloomberg television. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner gave his support yesterday.
Lawmakers announced plans earlier this week to attach the tax-credit proposal to a pending bill on the unemployment benefits. The $8,000 tax credit, enacted earlier this year as part of the $787 billion economic stimulus package, is set to expire at the end of November.
Comment: Hey, can someone run down to the hardware store and get these guys some more shovels. They're really making great progress digging themselves (and us) into that hole.