Capping a week of gridlock, GOP senators yesterday blocked consideration of a Democratic-backed housing-relief bill. The mortgage industry had fought hard against the proposal, which would allow judges to slash interest rates for low-income homeowners facing bankruptcy, the Washington Post reports. The bill also included billions of dollars for local communities to buy up subprime mortgages.
GOP critics charged the bill would decimate the housing market, and President Bush called on Congress to give this month's $168B stimulus package a "chance to kick in" before considering other measures. Sen. Richard Durbin, retorting that Bush's remarks come "straight out of the Herbert Hoover playbook," called the issue a choice between mortgage bankers and families facing foreclosure.