Senators have adopted yet another procedural (cloture) motion on the Unemployment Compensation Extension Act (H.R. 3548) by a vote of 97 to 1. This represents the final procedural vote on the measure.
According to Congressional Quarterly, the Senate’s version would “provide 14 additional weeks of unemployment aid in all 50 states.”
People in states with jobless rates exceeding 8.5 percent would get an additional six weeks of benefits. Currently, 27 states, along with the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, would qualify as high-unemployment states.
Also included in the Senate’s bill is an agreement “covering the home-buying credit and an expansion of the net operating loss carryback break for businesses.”
The current first-time homebuyer credit of up to $8,000 was created in the stimulus law enacted early this year and is set to expire Nov. 30. A compromise version is expected to reduce the maximum tax credit to about $7200, boost income eligibility limits for taxpayers hoping to claim the credit and make it available to existing home owners who’ve owned their homes at least five years.
The stimulus law also contained a net operating-loss carryback provision, but limited it to small businesses. Money-losing companies of all sizes have been pressing for an expansion of that measure all year. Under current law, qualifying businesses can apply this year’s losses to two prior years of taxable profits, obtaining immediate refunds. Businesses want to be able to apply current losses to five years’ prior profits.
A final vote is expected this week, and that could happen as early as today if Republican members objecting to the bill allow the 30 hours of post-cloture time to be yielded back.
Update: This bill has been passed by the Senate.
*Additional updates here.
(credit image – associated press)