House OKs capital backstop for Fannie, Freddie

Conforming loan limit to be reined in to $625,500

A bill that authorizes a $300 billion expansion of FHA loan guarantee programs and gives the Treasury Department additional leeway to buy the debt of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is headed to the Senate — with the Bush administration lifting a threat to veto the bill.

The House of Representatives approved the sweeping housing bill, HR 3221, in a 272-152 vote Wednesday, agreeing to a compromise with the Senate that preserves some, but not all, of the temporary increase in the loan limits for Fannie, Freddie and the Federal Housing Administration.