5:34 am November 5, 2009, by Henry Unger
When Democrats and Republicans want to work together, they certainly know how.
The U.S. Senate late Wednesday unanimously passed legislation extending unemployment benefits and also significantly expanding a homebuyer tax credit that was championed by Republican U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia, AJC reporter Bob Keefe writes.
The Senate voted 98-0 to extend unemployment benefits for the jobless by up to 20 weeks. In states with unemployment rates of 8.5 percent and above — in Georgia the unemployment rate is 10.1 percent — the jobless could receive up to 99 weeks of benefits, which average about $300 per week.
As part of the unemployment package, the Senate also voted to extend an $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit through April 30, Keefe reports.
The homebuyer tax credit program, which is currently set to expire Nov. 30, also would be expanded to give all homebuyers a $6,500 credit as long as they had been in their previous home for at least five years.
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