Economic Recovery Measures

Senate to Consider Bipartisan Housing Finance Reform Bill

The push among lawmakers to reform housing finance has picked up lately, as proposals have been emerging in recent weeks. The most prominent one in the Senate has been proposed by Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID).

CBO's Latest Estimate of TARP: $27 Billion

Caught up in the release of CBO's baseline and its analysis of the President's budget last week was another CBO update of their estimate of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The subsidy estimate for the entire program is in line with analyses of previous years, showing a total net cost of $27 billion. The estimates have been much less than the $356 billion peak cost estimate CBO had in April 2009 and the $700 billion of total funds approved.

Explaining the "Double-Dipping" Provision

As the Senate looks for offsets for an unemployment insurance extension, there is one provision that has gotten some attention: ending "double-dipping" for those receiving both UI and federal disability benefits.

UI Offsets a Good Start, But Fall Short

Today, the Congressional Budget Office released their score of the proposal from Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to renew extended unemployment benefits in concert with other reductions in spending.

Offsetting A Long-Term UI Extension

The unemployment insurance saga continues. Today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) proposed an alternative unemployment benefit extension which would run through mid-November, in place of the three-month extension previously considered.

Unfinished Business for the New Year

The passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act was a positive move away from governing by crisis, and a demonstration that policymakers can meet self-imposed legislative deadlines. Yet substantial unfinished business remains, and much of it has significant fiscal implications. Below are some issues Congress should address early this year:

Stopgap Unemployment Benefit Extension Should Be Offset

At the end of 2013, Congress allowed extended unemployment benefits to expire, and as a result the maximum number of weeks for collecting benefits has declined from 73 to 26. While the White House and Congressional democrats have pushed for a one-year extension costing $25 billion, Sens.

The FOMC Tapers, But That's Not All!

In a move that has been discussed and anticipated for months, the Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee announced that it would slightly scale back its current quantitative easing program (QE3). Specifically, it would slow its purchases of longer-term Treasury and mortgage-backed securities by $5 billion per month each, reducing the total monthly purchase from $85 billion to $75 billion.

Like Other Extenders, Unemployment Benefits Should Be Offset

Recently, several Members of Congress and outside groups have called for continuing extended unemployment benefits to allow the unemployed to collect for up to 73 weeks instead of 26.

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