White House welcomes Senate panel's housing vote

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is welcoming bipartisan legislation to overhaul the nation's mortgage financing system that has cleared a crucial Senate hurdle. The legislation would wind down the giant government-backed lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The Senate Banking Committee voted 13-9 Thursday to send the bill to the Senate floor. It still faces long odds to pass this year.

The bill would phase out Fannie and Freddie and reduce the government's role in guaranteeing mortgage securities. The two firms had to be rescued by a $187 billion taxpayer bailout during the financial crisis. A House Republican bill would go further in privatizing the mortgage market.

The White House says Thursday's vote, quote, "marks important progress toward completing one of the biggest remaining pieces of post-recession reform of the financial system."