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Deal Reached on Homebuyer Tax Credit

Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) announced an agreement Thursday to extend the popular homebuyer tax credit through April.

Isakson said the extension would likely be included in the unemployment benefits package currently before the Senate. The homebuyer tax credit has been held up for weeks by Senators concerned over how to pay for it.

But at a press conference Thursday, Dodd maintained, “We’re going to do this, and my guess is the president will sign it.—

Under the Dodd-Isakson agreement, an $8,000 tax credit would be awarded to first-time homebuyers and current owners looking to upgrade after living in their home for five years or more. Isakson said the measure would be deficit-neutral and would expire April 30.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are trying to reach an agreement on the unemployment bill, which would extend benefits from 14 weeks to as many as 20 weeks for the hardest-hit states. That bill has been tripped up by a host of GOP amendments, prompting Reid to file a procedural motion that passed earlier this week. Both leaders continue to negotiate to reach an agreement on a broader package that could be voted on Thursday or next week.

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