House knocking off Democrat amendments to bill repealing FHA mortgage program

House Republicans Thursday afternoon were methodically clearing away Democratic amendments to a bill that would repeal the Federal Housing Administration's mortgage refinance program. A vote on that bill and a few amendments is expected later tonight.

Republicans raised several points of order against Democratic amendments, including one from Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) that would have identified the number of underwater mortgages in each state, more than 10 million in total, and said that Congress is not suggesting a replacement program.

Points of order were also raised against amendments that would require a study on how to fix the FHA lending program, replace the current program with one allowing underwater borrowers to refinance at a 4 percent interest rate under the FHA, call for the prosecution of those responsible for the mortgage meltdown, and ease the tax burden of struggling homeowners.

The House accepted a Republican amendment to ensure that money saved by repealing the program goes to reducing the deficit.

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