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Congress: Axing the banking fee

"Senator Scott Brown yesterday forced Democrats to remove a $19 billion tax on big banks and hedge funds from the proposed Wall Street regulatory overhaul, the second time the Massachusetts Republican has used his pivotal role in the Senate to influence the legislation in favor of major financial institutions," the Boston Globe reports.

"House Democrats who are trying to pass a long-stalled war funding bill are sweetening it with $10 billion to help local school districts avoid teacher layoffs when schools reopen," the AP writes. "The approximately $70 billion measure is anchored by President Barack Obama's $30 billion request for the troop surge in Afghanistan and contains money for disaster aid accounts, foreign aid and disability benefits for Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange." It could pass this week.

"Home buyers would get an extra three months to complete their purchases and qualify for a generous tax credit under a bill overwhelmingly passed by the House yesterday," the AP says.

"Democratic leaders in the Senate were trying Tuesday night to persuade Republicans to agree to a vote Wednesday on a newly introduced bill on unemployment benefits and a homebuyer tax credit, according to a Democratic leadership aide.”

Roll Call: "Faced with continued inaction in the Senate on a broader package of middle-class tax extensions and jobless benefits, House leaders have added to Tuesday’s schedule stand-alone bills restoring unemployment insurance benefits through November and extending a first-time homebuyer tax credit.”

"If you can gauge a man's fiscal restraint by how he gambles, it's a good thing John McCain didn't win the 2008 presidential election," the New York Daily News reports. "In his new book, 'The Zeroes: My Misadventures in the Decade Wall Street Went Insane,' published by Penguin's Portfolio imprint, author Randall Lane recounts his eye-rolling night playing craps with the hard-gambling Arizona senator."