Washington, District Of Columbia (PressExposure) February 05, 2009 -- Obama's divisive economic stimulus package was approved by the Senate yesterday (Wednesday February 2) after it was agreed that the proposal would provide a tax credit of 10% of the value of new or existing residences up to a $15,000 limit.
The current law provides for a $7,500 tax break but only for first-time homebuyers.
And the estimated cost of implementing the bill?
Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., who advanced the 'homebuyers tax break' said it was intended to help revive the failing housing industry which has collapsed and his office estimated that his proposal would cost the government an additional $19 billion.
Democrats seemed happy enough to agree to the proposal which will now have to make its way through congress, something which can be expected to take around ten days.
On another controversial issue, the Senate upheld a labor-backed provision requiring that only U.S. manufactured iron or steel will be used in construction projects that are funded by the bill.
A move by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to delete the so-called 'Buy American' requirement failed by, 31-65.
On a day on which Obama pushed back forcefully against Republican critics of the legislation he had this to say,
"Let's not make the perfect the enemy of the essential. Failure to act quickly will turn crisis into a catastrophe and guarantee a longer recession".
He then added that the criticisms that he'd heard "echo the very same failed economic theories that led us into this crisis in the first place, along with the notion that tax cuts alone will solve all our problems. I reject those theories and so did the American people when they went to the polls in November and voted resoundingly for change".