U.S. CONGRESSMAN AL GREEN PRAISES PASSAGE OF EXTENSION OF UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS AND TAX CREDIT FOR FIRST TIME HOMEBUYERS BY THE HOUSE.
Washington (DC), Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Senate amendments to HR 3548, the Unemployment Compensation Extension Act by a vote of 403 to 12.
The bill extends unemployment benefits in all states, extends the current tax credit for first-time homebuyers and expands the homebuyer credit to current homeowners buying new primary residences.
Jobless benefits will be extended in all states by 14 weeks and they will be extended an additional six weeks in states with unemployment higher than 8.5 percent. The measure applies to those whose benefits will run out by December 31, which is 1.3 million people, according to House estimates.
“This bill provides much needed relief for 15 million Americans who critically need it. The livelihood of these people greatly depends on this assistance,” said Congressman Green.
The bill also extends the refundable $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers who have entered into a contract signed by April 30 and closed by June 30. The current credit defines a first-time homebuyer as someone who has not owned a residence within the past three years.
The House also approved an adjustment of the gross income cap to $125,000 for single filers and $225,000 for joint filers. Currently, the amount of credit begins to phase out for taxpayers whose adjusted gross income is more than $75,000 for single filers or $150,000 for joint filers.
“This important measure will help stimulate the job market by increasing activity in the building and real estate sectors. Specifically in my home state of Texas, the National Association of Realtors is projecting that 189,200 first-time buyers will take advantage of the credit”, commented Congressman Green.
The White House said President Obama will sign the bill into law tomorrow.