Update: Tuesday Feb 10 — In a 61 – 37 vote, the Senate has passed their version of the Stimulus Bill that contains the $15,000 tax credit for home buyers. The next step will be a Joint Conference Committee where select members of both the House and Senate will attempt to reconcile the differences between their bills. Once that process is complete, the House and Senate will vote on the reconciled bill and send it to the President for signature into law. Some mainstream media is reporting this is expected by the end of this week. That time frame seems aggressive to me, but who knows how Washington works.
Wednesday evening’s post, Senate Approves $15,000 Tax Credit for Home Buyers, has generated a flurry of phone calls and emails from home buyers, real estate agents and even the media. People have questions, and they want answers.
Here’s the problem. . . The stimulus bill hasn’t been finalized yet. The House has passed one version, another version is being worked on in the Senate. Once the Senate passes their version of the stimulus package (a vote is currently expected on Tuesday, Feb 10) it is still not a law.
Since the Senate version is different than the House version, the bill will have to go to a conference committee consisting of members of both the House and the Senate in order to reconcile the differences between the two bills ”“ and here there would be more opportunity for changes to be made.
There is no $15,000 home buyers tax credit – YET
THEN the bill goes back for voting. Assuming passage by both the House and Senate on the reconciled bill, it would be sent to President Obama for his signing into law.
Whew. It’s an involved process, and can be lengthy. Obama’s made it clear that he wants a bill to sign by Feb 16. Whether he gets that, only time will tell.
Everything I’ve read indicates there will probably be some sort of home buyers tax credit in the final stimulus bill. The details however, are subject to change.
So since there isn’t a Stimulus Bill even past the conference committee stage, there really isn’t much point in answering questions on what may, or may not, be in the final bill.
We’re just going to have to wait and see what the final bill looks like.
UPDATE Monday, Feb 9, 2009 – 10:00pm: Earlier today the Senate finalized their version of the Stimulus Bill which includes the $15,000 home buyer tax credit. They are expected to vote on passage tomorrow (Tuesday Feb 10). After that, it will go to a Joint Conference Committee where Representatives and Senators will arm wrestle, cage match, duel or whatever it is they do to reconcile differences between the House and Senate versions. Then it’s off to the President for signing into law. The final Senate version of the $15K tax credit for home buyers is here.