Housing Bill Clears Key Senate Hurdle

Package of relief measures garners bipartisan support
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2008 5:38 PM CDT
Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., center, was the only senator to vote "no" on the procedural motion.   (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)
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(Newser) – The Senate voted 94-1 to move a housing legislation package into formal consideration today, reports the New York Times. Banking committee chair Chris Dodd and ranking Republican Richard Shelby now have until noon tomorrow to work out a compromise acceptable to both parties. “Inaction is not an option," said Dodd. "Failure is not an option."

"Inaction’s never an option when you have a crisis of confidence in the housing market and in the financial markets," said Shelby. The procedural move to advance the package required just  60 votes; the overwhelming support indicates the increasing urgency of government intervention in the foreclosure crisis. The legislation includes measures to expand mortgage counseling and increase local government funding for buying foreclosed properties.