WASHINGTON - The House Ways and Means Committee's chief tax counsel assured bond lawyers yesterday that although some of the bond programs created by the stimulus law are "unprecedented," particularly the taxable Build America Bonds program, none of them are meant to undercut the traditional tax-exempt bond market.

John Buckley made his remarks in a teleconference during which a Treasury Department official said Treasury hopes to release initial guidance by the end of this month or the beginning of next on how direct payment BABs will work - how issuers should opt into the program as well as how and when the government will make payments to issuers.

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