Mortgage Deal Close in Senate

Bipartisan bill would expand insurance for refinanced loans, boost feds' oversight
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2008 1:11 PM CDT
Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, right, is seen with committee Chairman Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A Senate committee is close to agreeing on expansion of a government insurance program for refinanced mortgages, the Wall Street Journal reports. Though ridden with partisan conflict as recently as a week ago, staff for Democrat Chris Dodd and Republican Richard Shelby said today the sides were nearing a compromise, and a vote to move the measure along could come in the next few hours.

In addition to the mortgage insurance, the deal would also revamp oversight of government-sponsored lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as the Federal Home Loan Banks. Dodd has said that he has enough support from Democrats to narrowly pass the bill, but is seeking a greater consensus.