House Passes Huge Housing Rescue Bill

Measure should clear Senate soon; Bush says he'll sign it
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2008 5:34 PM CDT
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson addresses a morning gathering at the the main branch of the New York Public Library, Tuesday July 22, 2008.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
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(Newser) – The House today approved a massive bill to provide relief for struggling homeowners, communities hit hard by the housing crisis, and mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Hill reports. The bill passed 272-152 hours after President Bush switched course and said he would not veto it. The measure is expected to clear the Senate by the end of the week.

The centerpiece of the plan gives the Treasury Department authority to lend money to Freddie and Fannie, the two largest mortgage-finance companies in the nation, if they should need it. The measure also provides nearly $4 billion in grants to communities, which Bush initially objected to as a "bailout for lenders."