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Inside Washington (01/29/2008)
* WASHINGTON (1/30/08)--The House Tuesday approved a $146 billion economic stimulus package, which “will inject money into our economy in time to create more than 500,000 jobs before the end of the year,” said Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. Meanwhile, Senate Democrats moved ahead with their own plan, introduced by Sen. Max Baucus (Mont.) and which would cost $160.5 billion (The New York Times Jan. 29). Though the Senate bill is more expensive, some senators indicated that they would add more to the bill, the newspaper stated. Both plans offer tax incentives and rebates but they possess several key differences. The Senate’s would provide Americans on Social Security and over the age of 62 up to $500 in rebates, whereas the House plan would afford them nothing. The Senate proposal also lengthens unemployment benefits to 39 weeks. But it provides some with less in rebates than the House plan. A family of two working parents and two children would be provided with $1,600 in rebates under the Senate plan and $1,800 in rebates under the House proposal. The Senate plan is expected to be discussed today, and a vote could be taken today or Thursday, according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) ... * WASHINGTON (1/30/08)--Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s plan to streamline loan modifications of distressed mortgages would help only 3% of at-risk homes, the Center for Responsible Lending announced Monday. “The Treasury plan will be a welcome relief for those it helps, but won’t help nearly enough to avoid further widespread economic damage from foreclosures,” the center said. “The most effective way to handle the crisis is to permit court-supervised modifications of distressed mortgages,” said Eric Stein, senior vice president of the center. Homeowners are excluded from such relief under law, but legislation to remove the barrier is moving through the House and Senate, he added. “Congress has the power to prevent 600,000 homes from being lost to foreclosure at no cost to the Treasury,” Stein said ... * WASHINGTON (1/30/08)—Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Jr. is scheduled to deliver remarks on the economy today at a state of the industry meeting sponsored by the Real Estate Roundtable in Washington, D.C. According to a Treasury Department announcement, Paulson will discuss the state of the economy and the proposed fiscal growth package… * WASHINGTON (1/30/08)—The Treasury Department has issued interim guidance to insurers, policyholders, state insurance regulators and the public concerning recent statutory amendments to the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002. The Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007, signed into law on Dec. 26, 2007, extends the program through Dec. 31, 2014, and made other changes. The interim guidance, published in the Jan. 29 Federal Register, is intended to assist insurers in complying with certain new statutory requirements pending the issuance of implementing regulations. The guidance is effective immediately and will remain in effect until superseded by regulations or by subsequent notice …


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