Mortgage Bill Promoted by Obama Faces Uphill Climb
February 18, 2013
President Obama's call during his State of the Union address for Congress to pass a refinancing bill for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages, while impassioned, is unlikely to trigger quick action in the sharply divided Capitol. The proposal would target homeowners who are current on their loans but cannot refinance because the value of their property has greatly deteriorated. Sponsors Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) estimate that as many as 12 million Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac borrowers could benefit from refinancing but are hamstrung by rep tape and steep fees. Although their measure could make some progress in the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats, many Republicans in the GOP-led House would like to see Washington's role in the housing market scaled down. "The American taxpayers have already sunk $190 billion dollars [sic] into the operations of Fannie and Freddie," points our Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas). "It's time that we wind down their operations instead of using them as a piggy bank for failed programs that further delay the housing recovery."
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