'Jumbo conforming' limits in play again

Senate lawmakers vote to restore Fannie, Freddie, FHA ceilings

Lawmakers haven’t given up on the idea of restoring emergency loan limits for government-backed mortgages in high-cost housing markets to levels in place during much of the housing downturn, with a handful of Republicans joining Senate Democrats in backing such a move.

In a 60-38 vote Thursday, the Senate approved an amendment to a spending bill that would restore the $729,750 ceiling that was first put in place in 2008 to allow Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration to back what were previously considered "jumbo" mortgages not eligible for government support.