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Congress Approves Final Stimulus Bill, President to Sign Tuesday

Both chambers of Congress approved the final version of the federal stimulus package late Friday. The bill now carries a $787 billion price tag. White House officials said President Barack Obama will sign the federal stimulus package into law in Denver on Tuesday.
The stimulus plan is a mix of government spending and tax cuts. The White House estimates the package will save or create 3.5 million jobs by 2010. However, administration officials are attempting to downplay the nation's high expectations of the bill.
In an interview with ""Fox News Sunday"" this weekend, David Axelrod, a White House senior adviser, said ""There will be signs of activity very quickly. But it's going to take time for that to show up in the statistics. The president has said it's likely to get worse before it gets better.""
Under this final stimulus version, first-time home buyers will receive an $8,000 tax credit. And unlike the current $7,500 credit in place, the tax break wouldn't have to be paid back to the government at a later time. An earlier Senate proposal, before compromising cost-cuts were made, would have provided all home buyers with a $15,000 credit.
Despite the scale-back, many economists expect the provision to give a boost to the housing market by encouraging property purchases and helping to dwindle the growing inventory surplus.
Brian Bethune at IHS Global Insight told _""USA Today"":http://www.usatoday.com _that the home buyer tax credit ""should induce more home sales in 2009, and this will be an important support for the housing market and the housing industry. It should also buffer the rate of decline of home prices.""

About Author: Greg Jones


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