The White House today threatened to veto a sweeping housing bill that would package measures long sought by the Bush administration together with a $300 billion expansion of FHA loan guarantee programs the administration views as a bailout.

At a press conference with Republican House leaders, Bush rejected a gambit by Democrats to bundle expansion of Federal Housing Administration loan guarantees programs with action on housing issues the administration has been stymied on for years — including increased oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and "modernization" of FHA loan programs through risk-based premium pricing.

"We are committed to a good housing bill that will help folks stay in their house, as opposed to a housing bill that will reward speculators and lenders," Bush said. "I will veto the bill that’s moving through the House today if it makes it to my desk, and I urge members on both sides of the aisle to focus on a good piece of legislation that is being sponsored by Republican members."

The president’s veto threat came as the House of Representatives was scheduled to debate a sweeping housing bill, the American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act. The bill would incorporate legislation authorizing FHA to guarantee refinance loans for troubled borrowers when lenders agree to principal write-downs into a broader package of amendments to legislation passed in the Senate April 10, The Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008.

Republicans were able to keep a $400 billion expansion of FHA loan guarantee programs proposed by Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., out of that bill, HR 3121. But House Democrats hoped that by amending the bill to include provisions sought by the Bush administration, it might pass muster with the White House.

The House’s sweeping amendments to HR 3121 incorporate Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Barney Frank’s $300 billion expansion of FHA loan guarantees, as previously proposed in legislation approved May 1 by the House Financial Services Committee, HR 5830 (see story).

The proposed House amendments to HR 3121 also incorporate legislation approved last year to reform oversight of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks (the "government-sponsored enterprises," or GSEs), and a revised version of an FHA modernization bill that would make permanent temporary increases in FHA loan limits and allow limited risk-based pricing.

***

What’s your opinion? Leave your comments below or send a letter to the editor.

Show Comments Hide Comments

Comments

Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Success!
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Hear from Realogy, Pacaso, SERHANT., Spotify, Redfin, Douglas Elliman, and 100+ more leaders at ICNY.Register now×
Limited time: Get 30 days of Inman Select for $5.SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription