"Given that the housing legislation is so essential right now,and that we need it promptly, the President agreed to acceptSecretary Paulson's recommendation that it was more important toaccept the bill in this form so that we could get the housingreforms in the form of the GSEs, and to go ahead and sign the bill,even though it has the CDBG money in it," the spokeswoman saidduring Wednesday's afternoon press briefing.


Paulson has been relentlessly making the rounds in Congress andin the Bush Administration to steer these two bills throughCongress. There are many facets to the measure including some taxrelief for homeowners. These bills are also the vehicle to whichPaulson has attached his plan to bolster FannieMae and Freddie Mac.


The president's promise to keep his veto power in check, plusthe progress the bills are making in Congress, have cheeredinvestors. Shares of both GSEs had increased by percentages in thedouble digits on Wednesday afternoon.


According to news accounts, the House is set to easily pass thebill, while the Senate will pass it, but at a closer margin. "Withthe veto off the table, the market is feeling more optimistic thatthis might actually happen," Peter Cohan, principal with Peter S.Cohan & Assoc., tells GlobeSt.com. "I think somebody sat Bushdown and presented two stark scenarios: one where he signed thelegislation and one where the economy collapsed because Fannie andFreddie did not get the support they needed."

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