BVN StaffDespite reservations, Bush signed mortgage relief for 4,000,000 strapped homeowners
President Bush reversed himself and signed mortgage relief for 4,000,000 struggling homeowners Tuesday as part of an election-year housing plan that also aims to calm jittery financial markets and bolster the sagging economy.
The measure, regarded as the most significant housing legislation in decades, lets homeowners who cannot afford their payments refinance into more affordable government-backed loans rather than losing their homes.
It offers a temporary financial lifeline to troubled mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - pillars of the home loan market whose loses have sparked investor fears and tightened controls over the government-sponsored businesses.
What began as a showdown between the White-House and the Democratic-led Congress over how far the government should go in rescuing homeowners evolved into a bipartisan effort that could be the last such compromise before Bush leaves office in January.
In a rare Saturday session, the Senate voted 72-13 to send the bill to the president; the House passed it earlier in the week.
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