Senate Leaders Lavish Money on Beleaguered Home Builders

In its bid to tackle the housing crisis, Congress is putting the finishing touches on a $15 billion bill that will provide some relief for the faltering housing market. The bill includes deductions for almost every type of homeowner as well as a special $7,000 deduction for individuals that buy foreclosed properties. The bill also includes provisions for expanded funding to foreclosure counseling services as well as $6 billion in retroactive tax rebates to home-building companies. The law is seen by both parties as only a first step, “confidence-building” measure in a larger effort to relieve the housing bust. The Washington Post reports:

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) lauded the agreement as “a robust package” that is “good news for the American people.” But the lead negotiators on the deal, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) and the panel’s ranking Republican, Sen. Richard C. Shelby (Ala.), acknowledged that the legislation does not go as far as either side would like and represents only their first attempt at helping to resolve the nation’s housing problems.

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