Senate Republicans circulated a sweeping plan to drive down the cost of mortgages by expanding the federal government's role in the industry, officials said today as debate opened on an economic stimulus bill at the top of President Barack Obama's agenda. The emerging proposal also relies on a bigger and more widely available tax break for homebuyers than is now available, the AP reports.
In the Capitol, Republicans said their goal was the change the bill, not to block it. "Nobody that I know of is trying to keep a package from passing," said Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader. "We need to fix housing first," he said. Republicans are expected to seek a vote on their proposals this week as part of the debate on the overall stimulus measure.