By Jay Heflin - 06/16/10 07:16 PM EDT
By a 60-37 vote, the Senate on Wednesday approved a measure extending the closing deadline for qualifying for the homebuyer tax credit.
The proposal is expected to be added to a slimmed-down tax extenders bill that Senate Democratic leaders are expected to unveil Wednesday.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senate Banking Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) authored the proposal.
The senator from Georgia tried but failed to offset the amendment's cost with unspent stimulus dollars. His proposal failed by a 45-52 vote.
The proposal that is expected to be added to the extender bill is offset by denying the tax deduction for certain punitive damages, which raises $315 million over 10 years.
The cost for extending the closing date is $140 million, which means the provision reduces the deficit by $175 million over 10 years.
Congress originally passed an $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers as part of the stimulus bill President Barack Obama signed into law in February of 2009.
Lawmakers extended and expanded the measure last November to include a $6,500 tax credit for buyers who have already owned a home. Both of these measures expired at the end of April for buyers that enter into a contract to purchase a home. Wednesday's measure only extends the cut off date for closing on the property.