Leahy, Sanders, Gregg, Sununu vote for housing bill

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Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders, and New Hampshire’s John Sununu and Judd Gregg were on the winning side Saturday as the Senate approved a plan to help homeowners facing foreclosure and to save mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

President Bush is expected to sign the measure quickly.

It lets homeowners refinance into more affordable government-backed loans rather than losing their homes. It also offers a temporary lifeline to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and tightens controls over them.

Gregg said enacting the bill is one of the most important things the government can do to help prevent the economy from collapsing.

Sununu said he is concerned about the size of a new Federal Housing Administration housing fund in the bill, but voted for it because it will encourage the sale of foreclosed property and provide money to New Hampshire’s Housing Finance Authority.

But he said most significantly, the bill improves oversight for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

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