Push for housing bill takes a holiday

Steve Henn Jun 26, 2008
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Push for housing bill takes a holiday

Steve Henn Jun 26, 2008
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Scott Jagow: The Senate was hoping to pass a big housing bill before the July 4 weekend, but it’s hit a snag. Steve Henn reports.


Steve Henn: The housing bill is designed to help up to 400,000 Americans save their homes by encouraging lenders to write down some of their debt and move them into government-backed mortgages.

The bill’s so important that yesterday, Democrats’ Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid threatened to cancel the Senate’s planned vacation if it couldn’t pass this bill first.

Harry Reid: We are going to finish the housing bill. However long it takes us to do this. It may knock a few people out of parades on July 4.

But Republican Senator John Ensign refused to let the bill move — unless it included $6 billion in tax breaks for renewable energy. Both Ensign and Reid represent Nevada, which leads the nation in foreclosures, but the cost of the tax breaks was a deal breaker.

By the end of the day, Senator Reid said it was unlikely the Senate would pass anything until late July — and by then a quarter of a million more Americans will have lost their homes.

In Washington, I’m Steve Henn for Marketplace.

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