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Frank hopes housing bill eases worries

July 11, 2008 at 7:49 PM

WASHINGTON, July 11 (UPI) -- U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., said he hopes a housing bill moving through Congress bumps public confidence on the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The bill would, among other things, tighten oversight of the two mortgage lenders, which saw their stocks plunge as they struggled to raise billions of dollars in fresh capital.

Frank -- the bill's chief House sponsor and chairman of the House Financial Services Committee -- said, "I would hope that people would see the bill as a confidence booster," The Hill reported Friday.

Citing assurances that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson made when speaking before House Financial Services Committee, Frank said the government-sponsored enterprises were "well-capitalized."

Versions of the housing bill passed the House and Senate and the differences are being resolved in a conference committee. Besides stronger supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, both the House and Senate versions contain a package of tax breaks intended to help the housing market.

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