Push for housing bill takes a holiday

Steve Henn Jun 26, 2008
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Push for housing bill takes a holiday

Steve Henn Jun 26, 2008
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF STORY

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.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.