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 CrapoLive coverage of Sessions confirmation hearing Senate rejects Paul's balanced budget Dems attack Trump SEC pick's ties to Wall Street 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 — Charles SchumerCharles SchumerTop Dem comes out against Tillerson ahead of key vote Democrats and the boycott of Trump's inauguration The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (N.Y.), Robert MenendezRobert MenendezCarson likely to roll back housing equality rule Live coverage: Tillerson's hearing for State Booker to join Foreign Relations Committee MORE (N.J.), Jack ReedJack ReedSenate seeks deal on Trump nominees Senate seeks deal on Trump nominees Senate panel easily approves waiver for Mattis MORE (R.I.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWeek ahead: Regulators await Trump's 'day one' Franken emerges as liberal force in hearings Women's marches draw huge crowds as Trump takes office MORE (Mass.), Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownMajor progressive group unveils first 2018 Senate endorsements Congressional leaders unite to protect consumers Mnuchin weathers stormy confirmation hearing MORE (Ohio) and Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyTop Dem comes out against Tillerson ahead of key vote Overnight Finance: Scoop – Trump team eyes dramatic spending cuts | Treasury pick survives stormy hearing Warren burns Mnuchin over failure to disclose assets 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.