The rap on the current Congress is that it can’t overcome partisanship, can’t move bills, can’t do diddly-squat on budgets or tax policy. That reputation is richly deserved and has hurt the national economic recovery and done nothing to help housing.
But now and then, something odd happens. Republicans and Democrats come together and agree on legislative proposals that have the potential to stimulate economic growth and directly assist millions of taxpayers who are also homeowners. The Senate Finance Committee — one of the two key tax-writing bodies on Capitol Hill — did precisely that before heading home for vacation with a strong, 19-5 bipartisan vote on legislation extending or reviving 50-plus tax code provisions, several of which have important implications for housing.