A measure to extend the closing deadline for home buyers’ tax credit might come to a vote tonight in the Senate, after it seemed impossible before the midnight expiration.
 
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) attached the House-passed proposal to a bill that would extend unemployment benefits. The benefits were part of the jobs bill that failed twice this month when Republicans withheld support, and Democrat leaders hope the less popular benefits bill will pass if it’s partnered with the more popular closing extension.
 
The proposal would give buyers until midnight Sept. 30 to close on contracts signed by April 30 and get up to $8,000 in tax credits.
 
Two weeks ago, the Senate voted 60-37 on an amendment to extend the deadline.
 
Reid wants to limit debate time on the unemployment benefits bill so it can pass before they go home for the July 4th weekend, but at least 60 votes are needed, which means Republican votes too.
 
That seemed impossible, said a Reid spokeswoman just after 6 p.m. Then half an hour later, she got word that a vote to limit debate time was likely. “We can only do things if we have Republican support,” aide Regan Lachapelle had said.
 
The House-passed extension could be considered by itself in the Senate, but Lachapelle said that needs unanimous consent to override usual protocol.
 
Much of this is almost déjà vu. A few weeks ago, Senate leaders attached its proposed closing extension to the fatal, jobs and stimulus bill.
 
The National Association of Realtors estimate about 180,000 buyers would lose the credit, including almost 9,200 New Yorkers.

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