CNN Financial News Producer
Unemployed Americans are set to get up to 20 additional weeks of jobless benefits, while new homebuyers are poised to see the $8,000 tax credit extended into mid-next year.
The House approved the measures by a 403-12 vote this afternoon, one day after the Senate passed the legislation. The bill now moves to the White House for President Obama's signature.
The legislation would extend jobless benefits in all states by 14 weeks. Those that live in states with unemployment higher than 8.5% would receive an additional six weeks. The proposal would be funded by extending a longstanding federal unemployment tax on employers through June 30, 2011.
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Editor's note: Eileen Pollack is director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Michigan and taught Uwem Akpan, author of "Say You Are One of Them." Akpan's book is the choice of the Oprah Book Club, which will be discussed November 9 at 9 p.m. ET on CNN.com Live or Oprah.com.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/OPINION/11/04/pollack.uwem.akpan.oprah.bookclub/story.pollack.courtesy.jpg caption="Uwem Akpan and Eileen Pollack at a holiday dinner." width=300 height=169]
Special to CNN
Even among the hundreds of applications, this one stood out. Most applicants to creative writing programs submit stories about the angst of their suburban childhoods. This writer's stories concerned the daily ordeals of a boy living with his family on the streets of Nairobi, Kenya, and the horrific plight of a Rwandan girl whose mother is Tutsi and father Hutu.
Not only did the applicant have what writers call "material," he was blessed with an uncanny ear for human speech and the poetry to describe his characters' very unpoetic lives.
I can still remember the young Kenyan boy watching his mother decant the glue she intends to sniff. The glue, the boy tells us, "glowed warm and yellow in the dull light," and when his mother had poured enough, "she cut the flow of the glue by tilting the tin up. The last stream of gum entering the bottle weakened and braided itself before tapering in midair like an icicle."
Still, this applicant gave us pause. The writer had so much to say, he seemed to be trying to channel a raging waterfall through the tiny funnels of two short stories. His use of punctuation was idiosyncratic, to say the least. And the applicant was a priest!
The Congressional Budget Office released its analysis of an alternative health care reform bill submitted by House Republicans today. The Democrats released their proposal last week.
The CBO projects the effect the proposals will have on the budget over the next 10 years. According to the new review today, the Republicans proposal would reduce deficits "by $68 billion over the 2010-2019 period" while the Democrats proposal would result in a reduction of "$104 billion over the 2010-2019 period."
The CBO also projects that the Republican bill will leave approximately 52 million non-elderly residents uninsured by 2019. The plan proposed by the Democrats would leave about 18 million non-elderly residents uninsured.
Program Note: See an investigation into why authorities are concerned about the violent messages being preached outside a New York mosque on tonight's AC 360 at 10 PM ET.
Drew Griffin and Kathleen Johnston
Outside a Manhattan mosque where the imam preaches against terrorism, the brothers of the "Revolution Muslim" are spreading a different message.
Protected by the Constitution of the country they detest, radical Muslim converts like Yousef al-Khattab and Younes Abdullah Mohammed preach that the killing of U.S. troops overseas is justified. In their thinking, so were the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States - and so are attacks on almost any American.
"Americans will always be a target - and a legitimate target - until America changes its nature in the international arena," Mohammed said.
Al-Khattab and Mohammed consider al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden their model.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/05/cleaveland.11bodies.jpg caption="Anthony Sowell's home was the source of an odor that permeated the neighborhood, police say."]
The smell permeated the neighborhood, turning the stomachs of residents and curtailing their outdoor activities.
"We used to think that it was coming from out of Ray's Sausage," said one resident. "But you smell these smells, and I live right there and ... we used to come out here and oh, these smells would just be horrible."
Ray's Sausage Co. replaced a sewer line and grease traps, trying to rid the area of the stench. But Ray's wasn't to blame after all. Instead, police said, the foul odor had a much more sinister source.
Eleven victims have been found inside and outside a home adjacent to Ray's - six inside and five outside. A skull, wrapped in a paper bag and stuffed into a bucket in the basement, apparently is all that remains of one of the 11 victims, authorities said Wednesday.
The Obama Administration has announced that 640,329 jobs have been created/saved as of October 30th due to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Jobs created/saved are determined by what a company receiving Recovery Act funding reports through the contract, grant or project that they receive.