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by CareyBot

The Mortgage Bankers Association is calling a sweeping housing bill headed to President Bush's desk this week "the most important housing-related legislation in more than a generation." But some critics say that although the legislation provides a much needed backstop to keep Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's doors open, it will do little else to lessen the impact of the housing downturn. In a 72-13 vote Saturday, the Senate concurred with previous House amendments to HR 3221 -- in effect granting the Bush administration's request to give the Treasury Department the temporary authority to buy an unlimited amount of the debt of government-chartered mortgage financiers Fannie and Freddie. With mounting losses at Fannie and Freddie creating doubts about their ability to raise...