Bush Spars With Senators Over Housing Fixes

Democrats and Republicans push to go further; feds don't want 'bailout'
By Lucas Laursen,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2008 11:56 AM CST
Bush Spars With Senators Over Housing Fixes
Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2008, in Washington. Specter has proposed a mortgage relief plan that would give judges some authority over variable rate mortgages. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)   (Associated Press)

Congressional Democrats are pushing for new bankruptcy rules to help homeowners suffering from the mortgage crisis, the Washington Post reports—though the White House says it will veto any plan that could hurt lenders and send mortgage rates upward. Democrats say enough Republicans from hard-hit states could join them in allowing some bills to hit the Senate floor for debate.

"We shouldn't be bailing out banks and investors," one Treasury official said. The administration supports voluntary bank programs to adjust loan terms; one Democratic proposal would include court-ordered interest-rate changes. "I don't want to bail out bad behavior,” said one homeowner. “On the other hand, you can't let people lose their homes and put them on the street." (Read more mortgage stories.)

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