* Mr. CAPUANO. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 3548, the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009. There are currently millions of workers who are looking for a job, but through no fault of their own are unable to find employment. This bill would extend emergency unemployment for an additional 20 weeks in high unemployment States like Massachusetts. In Massachusetts alone, the National Employment Law Center estimates that 39,530 workers would be exhausting their benefits if not for the additional assistance created by this bill. I cosponsored this extension, and have been a strong supporter of extended unemployment compensation during economic recessions so that those most directly affected by these difficult times are not left to fend for themselves.
* I also support extending the temporary homebuyer tax credit, which will help more Americans purchase homes. Congress first passed this provision in July 2008 by creating a refundable tax credit for first-time homebuyers. The credit served as an interest-free loan. In February, Congress extended the duration of the credit and also waived the repayment requirement. I supported the homebuyer tax credit on both occasions.
* H.R. 3548 includes a provision to extend the homebuyer tax credit for 5 additional months and to raise the income cap so more families are eligible. In addition, the measure would provide a $6,500 tax credit for current homeowners buying a new residence who consecutively live in their home for 5 years. I am a proud supporter of this reasonable extension of the homebuyer tax credit.
* I urge my colleagues to pass this bill quickly and clear it for the President.