Senate Banking Committee Endorses Housing Bill

Washington, D.C.–The Senate Banking Committee approved a housing bill designed to increase the availability of government-backed mortgages Tuesday, the New York Times reports.Approved by a vote of 19 to 2, the proposal marked an agreement between Senator and Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee  chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., and Richard Shelby, R-Ala., the banking committee’s senior Republican.Although the Bush administration has expressed opposition to foreclosure prevention legislation, it may consider the new Senate bill because there is no direct taxpayer cost, the Times said.The bill would finance an affordable-housing fund through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that would be used for the first year to give $500 million to prevent foreclosures.