Industry News

Congress OKs stimulus bill, loan limit increase

Fannie, Freddie to venture into jumbo loan territory

Bush administration officials renewed their calls for Congress to pass legislation tightening oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Thursday, as Congress signed off on a plan to allow the companies to guarantee or purchase loans that exceed the $417,000 loan limit. Senate Democrats on Thursday abandoned an attempt at a broad expansion of a $150 billion economic stimulus bill backed by the Bush administration and approved by the House last month. In an 81-16 vote, the Senate sent a slightly modified version of the bill back to the House, which promptly voted 380-34 to put the bill on the president's desk. The White House issued a statement saying President Bush could support the Senate's more limited amendments, which expand the pool of those eligible for tax rebate checks to include $300 payments to Social Security recipients and disabled veterans. Bush said the bill "would quickly put money into the hands of the American people and provide our economy the boost it needs" and that ...