Muckraker: Grist on Politics

Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) is attempting to add the tax break extensions for renewables that keep failing in the Senate to a giant housing package.

His attempts have stalled the housing bill, which would overhaul mortgage finance and create programs to help borrowers refinance. The Senate is supposed to go into recess today for the July 4 holiday, but Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has threatened to keep it in session until this is resolved. Though the tax extensions are strongly supported by Democrats, they want the extensions to be paid for by closing loopholes for hedgefunds. Republicans are onboard with the tax extensions, but they don’t want the pay-fors — especially if they come by closing loopholes for friends.

Ensign’s amendment doesn’t include pay-fors, and many Democrats are annoyed that he is stalling on the housing bill to push the extensions through.

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