Meek Votes to Extend Critical Unemployment Benefits and First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit


WASHINGTON, DC – November 6, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Congressman Kendrick B. Meek voted in favor of H.R. 3548, the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 to extend critical unemployment benefits for unemployed workers, expand and improve the homebuyer tax credit, and provide tax relief for military families and businesses. The legislation passed by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 402-12.

“This legislation is a multi-pronged effort to help revive our economy,” said Meek. “I am especially proud to vote with my Republican colleagues to extend and expand the $8,000 first-time-homebuyer tax credit for Florida families. This tax credit will help stabilize Florida’s housing market, which is still reeling from the foreclosure epidemic. This part of the broader game plan we need to get our economy back on track.”

The proposal would 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. It would also specify that railroad workers who face expiring unemployment benefits will be eligible for the extension of benefits.

To strengthen our domestic housing market, the legislation extends the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit through next spring, expands eligibility for the homebuyer credit (a $6,500 credit is available to homebuyers who have been in their current residence for the last five years or more), and provides housing tax relief for our nation’s military families to help service members take full advantage of homebuyer incentives in the Recovery Act. For American businesses, it includes the NOL carryback provision to breathe life back into companies suffering significant losses.

The bill also ensures that the additional $25 per week in unemployment insurance benefits provided by the Recovery Act do not count against a family’s eligibility for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps. Lastly, the bill would not add to the deficit.

U.S. Rep. Kendrick B. Meek represents the 17th Congressional District of Florida which includes parts of Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. He serves as the lone Florida Democrat sitting on the House Committee on Ways and Means.

Contact: Adam Sharon


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