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Obama, Dems ready to move on housing

Goals: Boost lending, prevent foreclosures

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Barack Obama will be sworn in today as the nation's 44th president with a green light from Congress to unleash the second half of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, and with legislation providing an additional $825 billion jolt to the economy on tap. Before Obama took the oath of office, lawmakers had introduced a slew of measures in the new year aimed at spurring home purchases and preventing foreclosures. Some of those measures -- including tax breaks for first-time homebuyers, and a return to the higher loan limits in place for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA during 2008 -- are likely to be part of a massive economic stimulus bill. TARP, round two The Obama administration moves into the White House with the authority to implement the second half of the $700 billion Toxic Asset Relief Program, or TARP. In a 52-42 vote, the Senate last week shot down a resolution that would have blocked further borrowing to fund the program. Both the House and Senate would h...