U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) today voted in favor of the Worker, Homeownership and Business Assistance Act of 2009, a bill that will help continue America's economic recovery by extending and improving the homebuyer tax credit, providing homebuyer benefits to military families, and extending unemployment benefits. Many of the provisions in the legislation originated in the Committee on Ways and Means, a committee Rep. Kind has been a member of since 2007.
"The bill gives more Americans the opportunity to become homeowners," said Rep. Kind. "Through legislation I authored, I am proud to support our troops and veterans through this bill. Their dedicated service to securing our country is inspiring. Service members should have every opportunity to succeed and enhance their life when they return home, and this bill will help them do just that."
The legislation strengthens the domestic housing market by extending the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit through April 30, 2010 and providing a $6,500 credit to new purchasers who have lived in their current residence for five years or more out of the previous eight years. In addition, legislation in the bill authored by Rep. Kind extends the first-time homebuyers credit for military personnel serving outside the United States at least 90 days in 2009 or 2010 for one additional year. The bill also prevents service members from having to repay the first-time homebuyer credit if they are forced to sell their home within three years of purchase due to deployment.
Unemployment insurance benefits will also be extended by up to 14 additional weeks for jobless workers in every state, and a total of up to 20 weeks in high unemployment states, including Wisconsin. This provision will help more than 1.3 million jobless Americans whose benefits are set to expire by the end of the year and is fully paid for by a continued extension of the 30-year old federal unemployment tax.
"Not only are we providing stability to those whose incomes are most vulnerable but we are also strengthening the economy and creating jobs through the extension of unemployment benefits. These payments will help consumers purchase necessities for their families as well as continue their mortgage payments, reducing foreclosures. This is crucial support for those in western Wisconsin who need have lost their jobs in this tough economic time and is done in a fiscally responsible way."