- The Washington Times - Friday, January 15, 2010

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday that the earthquake in Haiti and the resulting aid may lead to a “real boom economy” there.

Lawmakers say they plan to encourage more charitable donations by making them tax-deductible.

“I think that this can be an opportunity for a real boom economy in Haiti,” she told reporters in the Capitol, drawing from her experience in San Francisco. Haiti “can leap-frog over its past challenges, economically, politically, and demographically in terms of the rich and poor and the rest there, and have a new — just a new, fresh start,” the California Democrat added.

House leaders said they plan to introduce legislation — possibly as soon as next week — that would allow people to deduct charitable contributions directed to Haiti from their 2009 tax filings.

The contributions would have to be made prior to March 1, according to a congressional aide.

Congress passed similar legislation shortly after the December 2004 tsunami in Asia.

• Jennifer Haberkorn can be reached at jhaberkorn@washingtontimes.com.old.

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