Committee Approves Housing Rescue

Eight Republicans side with Democrats in supporting the plan.

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The housing rescue took a big step closer to enactment today when Republicans and Democrats joined to pass the measure through a key Senate committee by a 19-to-2 vote.

From the Associated Press:

Eight Republicans joined Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee to advance the housing rescue package. It also includes tougher regulations for government-sponsored mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The bill would let the Federal Housing Administration back up to $300 billion in new loans for struggling homeowners who would otherwise be considered too financially risky to access a fixed-rate, government-insured mortgage.

With such strong Republican support in the committee, the measure has a great chance of passing the full Senate. In an interview Friday, Sen. Richard Shelby, the leading Republican on the Banking Committee, said President Bush would support the bill. So, it looks as if the housing rescue might be a go after all.

Fannie Mae
Freddie Mac

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