The housing rescue is designed to help hundreds of thousands of homeowners buckling under subprime mortgage payments avoid foreclosure and get new, cheaper loans. This could be the last major compromise to be signed by Bush this year.I ask that everyone email their senators again asking them to oppose the bailout.
It has drawn broad support in the Senate, where test-votes show it has enough backing to override a veto. A procedural vote was expected Monday, and the measure is expected to pass the Senate as early as week's end.
First, though, lawmakers have to break a logjam over Republican Sen. John Ensign's bid to add $8 billion worth of renewable energy tax breaks. Then leaders have to resolve disputes among Democrats and with the White House about important details.
The measure includes a plan for the Federal Housing Administration to insure up to $300 billion in new, more affordable fixed-rate loans for borrowers otherwise considered too financially strapped to qualify. The proposal also would overhaul the FHA and tighten rules for government-sponsored mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
"I think we can get us a bill," Bush said recently. "But it's going to require less politics and more focus on keeping our minds on who we need to help, and that's the homeowner."
Democrats are divided on how high to place limits on the loans FHA can insure and those two companies can buy. The House proposed a roughly $730,000 cap and the Senate embraced a $625,000 ceiling.
Leaders are tussling with the White House over including at least $3.9 billion in grants for buying, fixing up and reselling foreclosed properties. This is an idea that Democrats say is critical to battling blight and Bush calls a government bailout for lenders who helped cause the housing crisis.
Monday, July 07, 2008
Housing Bailout Again Under Consideration This Week
As the U.S. Senate returns from its week-long Independence Day recess, the housing bailout bill is again in focus. The House of Representatives has already passed their version of the bill.