Housing Bill Stalls Pending Resolution Of Energy Tax Amendment

June 30, 2008

The Senate was thwarted last week on getting to a final vote on the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (H.R. 3221) when Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) insisted on an amendment to include $8.3 billion in tax incentives for renewable energy programs but since there was no offset, the amendment was not considered. The provision had been approved as part of an earlier housing bill before the Senate in April, but it was dropped in the latest version of the bill brought forth by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Ct.) and Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).

The latest bill was close to final passage Wednesday evening, when the Senate cast a 79-16 vote in its favor. But then procedural moves delayed the vote until after the Fourth of July recess.