There’s a lot the president doesn’t like about the new housing bill, just passed by the House, but he’ll hold his nose and sign it. The package includes huge guarantees for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae—the national debt ceiling had to be lifted by about $800 billion, just in case—but also rescue for hundreds of thousands of homeowners at risk of foreclosure.
New York Times:
Lawmakers and experts described the legislation as a landmark shift in the government’s role in the housing market, extending a helping hand to both Wall Street and Main Street. They said it would rank in importance with the creation of the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation to prevent foreclosures in the 1930s as part of the New Deal, and legislation in 1989 responding to the savings and loan crisis.
“We are at a time of considerable turmoil in the private financial markets, and that is a traditional time when government support is needed and called upon,” said Thomas H. Stanton, an author and expert on the mortgage finance industry.
Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut and chairman of the banking committee, said: “This is the most important piece of housing legislation in a generation.”