Bush Signs Massive Housing Rescue Bill

President Bush signed into law on Wednesday a sweeping housing rescue plan aimed at helping an estimated 400,000 homeowners pay off their troubled mortgages and replace them with more affordable, government-insured loans. Shortly after 7 a.m. Mr Bush signed the legislation into law that he initially opposed, threatening to veto it as overly socialistic. Things apparently changed, as they usually tend to in politics.

The bill signing however, which was attended by several top advisers to the president, including the Treasury secretary, Henry Paulson, Director Brian Montgomery and other senior FHA leaders — was rather low-key. The event, certainly missed the usual fanfare and the self-congratulatory aspect that is rather characteristic in these procedures. But again, given the precarious state of the nation’s financial system ; that’s only understandable.

Tony Fratto, deputy assistant to the president and deputy press secretary, in a statement, according to WSJ said :

We look forward to put in place new authorities to improve confidence and stability in markets and to provide better oversight for Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE). The Federal Housing Administration will begin to implement new policies intended to keep more deserving American families in their homes.

The bill will give Secretary Paulson full authority to increase Fannie and Freddie’s temporary line of credit and allow the agency to purchase equity in the firms. Both measures are aimed at easing worries of solvency and undercapitalized issues facing Fannie and Freddie.

The bill also includes an increase in the federal debt limit to $10.6 trillion and a $300 billion program to refinance loans for struggling borrowers.

Opponents to the bill argue that it rewards: lender-consumer “irresponsibility” while simultaneously allowing the government too big a role in the housing market.

“Providing authority to the secretary of the Treasury” – said David M. Walker, the former comptroller general of the United States and head of the Government Accountability Office — “to extend credit or to buy stock is one that will end up costing the taxpayers tens of billions of dollars”. [Vial IHT]

On the other hand, the bill’s supporters stressed the importance of providing assistance for both GSEs as well as more regulatory oversight as key contributors in re-establishing confidence and stability in housing and financial markets.

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1 Comment on Bush Signs Massive Housing Rescue Bill

  1. Well who is going to get rich off the taxpayers with this bill? Bush SR. S&L Deja Vu all sounds too familiar! Lets see how this system works! You get loan on a home for astronomical rates and pay 5 years only to lose it! All the downpayments and interest are pocketed by CEO’s and upper management! They foreclose and send out a House buying buddy to purchase your home at auction for 30 percent of its value and resale making a fortune. Wow they get big bonuses off original deals then make a fortune in the buzzard market of buying at auction and resaling again only this time they pocket all the profit! To heck with a bailout! I lost my home and no one bailed me out! I have bad credit and work crazy hours to make ends meet and feed and cloth my kids! WE HAVE NO HOME BUT I STILL PAY TAXES! If anything use the tax dollars and fund a fanny mae type institution and use these tax dollars to put homeless working people in homes again! You give this to these institutions and we have no hope of ever owning a home because we got caught up in this scam and our credit is ruined! There is no rush like these lawmakers are saying! The rush is only to leave loopholes so their buddies can exploit the taxpayers! A bill this size needs to wait until after the election! It has been going on for years now so why the BIG RUSH to pass it? Reaps of a bid Bush rip off to me! Hmm I wonder if Neil Bush has his hand in this one too!

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