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Housing legislation stalls in U.S. Senate

Housing legislation stalls in U.S. Senate
U.S. Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev. (UPI Photo/Roger L. Wollenberg) | License Photo

WASHINGTON, June 26 (UPI) -- A bill that would provide relief for struggling U.S. homeowners has stalled in the Senate, where one senator wants to include energy credits in the measure.

Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., says he won't allow the plan to proceed unless the Senate adds tax breaks to encourage the production of renewable energy, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

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Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid, D-Nev., conceded Thursday the Senate is unlikely to take a final vote on the bill until July but will eventually approve the measure.

Ensign's amendment would provide more than $6 billion in tax breaks for producers of renewable energy, a measure that is popular with both parties.

Senate Democrats oppose adding it to the housing bill because the amendment doesn't include tax increases to offset lost revenue -- endangering work to fashion a housing bill compromise with the U.S. House of Representatives, where a majority of representatives signed a pledge to reject measures that would increase the deficit, the Post said.

Ensign, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, says he's been trying to attach the energy credits measure to a bill that is likely to reach U.S. President George Bush's desk in an election year.

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