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Ready for another stimulus bill?

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Regardless of whom voters decide to put in the White House for the next four years, Congress is expected to return after the election for a "lame duck" session that may produce a massive stimulus bill to cushion the blow of the economic downturn. Trade groups and businesses representing the housing and real estate industries are hoping lawmakers will strengthen tax credits for home buyers, raise Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's loan limits, and make sure some of the $700 billion earmarked for buying troubled assets from banks is used to help prevent foreclosures. But while previous efforts by lawmakers and the Bush administration have been geared at propping up the financial system, unfreezing credit markets and stimulating consumer spending, there's now talk of a more concerted effort to jump-start the economy by boosting government spending. Some of the proposals -- like extending unemployment benefits and ramping up spending on job training and infrastructure pr...