Lawmakers seek to extend $8K tax credit

? Lawmakers are trying to extend and expand an $8,000 federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers, a stimulus-package tax break that many regard as a significant prop for the still-tottering economy.

The latest Senate proposal would drop the requirement that the credit be available only to first-time buyers, broadening the reach of the program but also adding to its cost, estimated by congressional analysts at $16.7 billion.

While the White House says there will not be a second stimulus package following the $787 billion economy booster enacted last February, extending the homebuyers’ credit and unemployment benefits are among several primary means being pushed by the administration or Congress to help people get through the prolonged economic downturn.