Housing finance reform bill set for Thursday markup

The Senate Banking Committee will consider a measure on Thursday that would eliminate government-controlled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. 

The bill, which was delayed two weeks ago in an effort to attract more Democratic support, is expected to pass the committee with a smaller majority than hoped by its backers. 

Housing industry leaders last week expressed surprise and frustration that six committee Democrats said they weren't prepared to vote for the long-delayed legislation in its current form. 

They said they had hoped Democrats would continue working on making changes, such as ensuring that underserved populations aren't left out and big banks don't control the mortgage market, up until the panel considered the measure.

The latest bipartisan version authored by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim JohnsonTim JohnsonCourt ruling could be game changer for Dems in Nevada Bank lobbyists counting down to Shelby’s exit Former GOP senator endorses Clinton after Orlando shooting MORE (D-S.D.) and top Republican Mike CrapoMike CrapoYou're fired! Why it's time to ditch the Fed's community banker seat GOP debates tax cuts vs. tax reform Conservative groups urge Trump to stick with Ex-Im Bank nominee MORE (Idaho) is expected to get votes from 12 long-standing supporters of the 22-member panel.

But late last week the group of Democrats — Chuck SchumerCharles SchumerDemocrats urge Trump to condemn Charlottesville violence Melania Trump on Charlottesville protests: 'No good comes from violence' It's time for McConnell to fight with Trump instead of against him MORE (N.Y.), Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezLawmakers target horse meat trade Senators, staff get approval to testify in Menendez corruption trial Trump admin not opposed to new war authorization MORE (N.J.), Jack ReedJack ReedTop Armed Services Dem: Trump's North Korea 'ad lib' not helpful Mattis warns North Korea of 'destruction of its people' Closing old military bases will help our defense — and our communities MORE (R.I.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren: Education Dept lawyer may have violated conflict-of-interest laws Congress should think twice on the Israel Anti-Boycott Act Sanders plans to introduce single-payer bill in September MORE (Mass.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownOvernight Finance: House passes spending bill with border wall funds | Ryan drops border tax idea | Russia sanctions bill goes to Trump's desk | Dems grill bank regulator picks Dems grill Trump bank regulator nominees Senate Dems launch talkathon ahead of ObamaCare repeal vote MORE (Ohio) and Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyPresident Trump, listen to candidate Trump and keep Volcker Rule Senators push federal prisons to expand compassionate release Senate confirms Trump's new FBI director MORE (Ore.) — said they couldn’t support the measure.

The major concern is that without a supermajority on the committee, probably around 17 votes, that the bill won’t have enough momentum to pass the Senate and put pressure on the House to act.