Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Housing package deal

WASHINGTON -- House and Senate leaders have largely hammered out a compromise deal on a mammoth housing package that would permit the government to bolster Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in an emergency, overhaul supervision of the housing-finance giants and allow the government to insure up to $300 billion in refinanced mortgages.

The deal comes after tense negotiations and is likely to remain a source of contention when the House of Representatives votes Wednesday. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday that a temporary measure to prop up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could cost the government as much as $25 billion. And despite repeated White House veto threats, lawmakers plan to include a $4 billion program that would allow local governments to buy and rehabilitate foreclosed properties.

It remained unclear whether the White House would follow through on veto threats, particularly because administration officials have actively lobbied in support of major provisions.

Veto? In this election year? Is the White House "drunk"?

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