It's like a second, mini-stimulus. Lawmakers from both parties are pushing to extend the life of various tax breaks and benefits included in the original $787 billion stimulus package, the Hill reports. All told, the wish list adds up to about $88 billion. The biggest chunk of that would be $65 billion to extend unemployment and health benefits due to expire at the end of the year.
Another big-ticket item, at about $15 billion, is a proposal to extend the so-called "carryback" provision, which allows businesses to write off losses. And a bipartisan group led by Max Baucus and Olympia Snowe want to keep in play tax credits for first-time homebuyers and car buyers that cost about $8 billion. A Realtors group plans a major push not only to extend the $8,000 tax credit for new buyers into next year, but to expand it to all homebuyers.