WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A bill pending in the Senate that would help unemployed workers, businesses and the housing market would add billions to the U.S. deficit in the short term but would be essentially budget-neutral over 10 years, congressional analysts said on Friday.
The Senate is expected to take up the bill next week, and the House of Representatives has promised quick action after that.
The bill would extend unemployment benefits for millions of workers who risk exhausting them. That provision would only add $1.4 million to the deficit in the current fiscal year that ends September 30, 2010, because it is largely paid for by extending a current payroll tax, said analysts at the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation.
The bill would also extend an $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers that is set to expire at the end of November. That measure would cost $10.8 billion over the next 10 years, with most of that incurred in the next two years, the analysts said.
Another provision, which would allow companies to apply losses from 2008 or 2009 to prior tax years to lower their tax bills, would cost $10.4 billion over 10 years.
But the 10-year cost of those provisions would essentially be offset by the delay of a more liberalized rule governing how companies can allocate interest expense until 2018, which would increase revenues by $20.1 billion, the analysts said.
(Reporting by Andy Sullivan and Kim Dixon, editing by Jackie Frank)