Extending the first-time home buyer credit for an additional twelve months will encourage new residential construction, stimulate nearby infrastructure, commercial and retail development and boost tax revenue.  Expanding the carryback provision to cover net operating losses in 2009 and 2010 for all businesses, meanwhile, will allow cash-strapped construction firms to convert future tax benefits into cash today to expand payrolls, retain workers and invest in equipment.

With unemployment continuing to rise, there’s no time to wait.  Congress should insert language extending the two tax measures in legislation extending unemployment benefits scheduled for a Senate vote as early as today.  As we note in our construction industry recovery plan, “Rebuild Now for the Future: A Blueprint for Economic Growth,” both measures are crucial for stimulating private sector construction activity that accounts for up to 70 percent of annual construction activity.   

With a single vote, senators can give unemployed construction workers a better chance to find work, feed their families and contribute to our economic recovery.