“With 43 senators now supporting either one or both of the Senate homeownership tax credit bills (S. 198 and S. 875) and House support for companion bill H.R. 839 now standing at 242 members, we call on President Bush to elevate priority for the tax credit in the 2004 budget process,” said Howard.
“Passage of this vital housing bill would increase homeownership opportunities by helping to bridge the gap between what it costs to build homes in lower-income neighborhoods and the price that buyers in those neighborhoods can afford to pay,” he said.
In laying out his jobs and growth agenda in his Jan. 20 address to the nation, the President said there was a need to “help small business owners and employees with relief from needless federal regulation, and protect them from junk and frivolous lawsuits.”
NAHB supports these efforts, and is urging the Senate to follow the lead of the House and to pass the “Class Action Fairness Act of 2003,” legislation that would give federal courts greater jurisdiction over class action cases in an effort to help reduce the soaring cost of litigation.
On the critical issue of health care, which is also directly related to the cost of doing business, the President said: “Congress must act to address rapidly rising health care costs. Small businesses should be able to band together and negotiate for lower insurance rates, so they can cover more workers with health insurance.” Specifically, Bush called on Congress to pass association health plan (AHP) coverage.
AHP legislation passed in the House last year with broad bipartisan support; a Senate companion bill, S. 545, is currently pending.
“A majority of the 43 million uninsured Americans are working and employed in small businesses. NAHB looks forward to working with the Administration and Congress to reduce the number of uninsured workers in the country by moving AHP legislation forward in Congress,” said Howard.
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