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House votes to kill FHA short refis

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In a largely symbolic move given the Obama administration's veto warnings, the House of Representatives has voted to kill the Federal Housing Administration's short refinancing program.HR 830, The FHA Refinance Program Termination Act, was approved by the House in a 256-171 vote, with 18 Democrats joining 238 Republicans in favor of ending the program.Critics say the program -- which allows underwater borrowers who are current on their loans to refinance into an FHA-insured mortgage if their lender agrees to write off at least 10 percent of their principal -- has gotten off to a slow start. Taxpayers may be on the hook for up to $8 billion to reimburse lenders for a share of their potential losses on the loans, critics say.Democrats who dissented from last week's 33-22 vote to move the bill out of the Financial Services Committee for a floor vote said that while Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds for the program have been capped at $8 billion, actual expenditures will depend on...