(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray applauded the passage of the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009. The bill, which Murray co-sponsored, passed the full Senate today by a vote of 98-0.
“Working families in Washington state are being pushed to the brink by a financial crisis they didn’t create, but are still paying for,” said Senator Patty Murray. “Extending unemployment benefits will give families in Washington state the support they need to get back on their feet and back in the workforce. Extending and expanding the successful homebuyer’s tax credit will help families purchase homes and will provide a much needed boost to the local housing market.”
This bill will expand and extend the successful Homebuyer’s tax credit program that has allowed families to purchase homes and has helped stabilize the weakened housing market. The bill would also provide a critical boost to businesses in Washington state and across the country by extending their ability to carry back losses they’ve suffered in 2008 or 2009. And it would help an estimated 18,000 unemployed Washington state residents by extending their benefits by up to 20 weeks while they look for a job.
Senator Murray spoke on the floor of the Senate three times in the past three weeks pushing her colleagues to support this legislation. She told stories of Washington state families who have contacted her about the desperate need to extend unemployment benefits. See more information including text and video of those speeches: first | second | third
The Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 would:
- Continue the $8,000 first-time homebuyer credit through April 30, 2010 and provide a $6,500 credit to new purchasers who have lived in their current residence for five or more years. See more information on the Homebuyer tax credit.
- Extend unemployment insurance by up to 14 additional weeks for jobless workers; and extend benefits for six additional weeks for workers in states with unemployment levels over 8.5 percent—such as Washington.
- Extend and expand the carry back provision to allow all businesses to carry back losses incurred in 2008 or 2009 for five years.