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Here's What's Happening in Congress:

15 October 2007
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On October 10, the House voted to passed HR 2895, which would establish the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund. This fund would be used for the construction and preservation of housing for low-income families. Much of the funding would come from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, along with some revenue from a new federal program that provides mortgage insurance. Opponents of the measure disapprove of using funds from the two largest mortgage buyers in a time of an insecure housing market. Opponents also cite the federal charters held by these two companies to keep interest rates low in an effort to promote home ownership. The fund will be used to build and maintain 1.5 million homes over the next 10 years. The White House has said that President Bush will veto this measure if it passes the Senate. HR 2895 passed by a vote of 264-148. Click here to see how your elected officials voted. Use the "How Members Voted" in the upper right of your screen.

The House also voted on October 10 to pass HR 3056. This bill would end a year-old IRS program to use private collection agencies to collect smaller tax debts. To help cover the expected loss of income, the bill makes it more difficult for people to avoid taxes by renouncing their U.S. citizenship. This bill passed the House 232-173. Supporters of the measure state that it is the government's responsibility to collect taxes and that the IRS should not be able to hire private collection agencies for this purpose. They also call the program inefficient and express concerns that private collection agencies may harass citizens. Opponents of the bill state that this program is effective, and that it will bring in about $2 billion dollars in delinquent taxes that the IRS would otherwise ignore. The White House has said President Bush will veto this measure if it gets to his desk. Click here to see how your elected officials voted on this bill.

Neither of these measures have yet passed the Senate. If you have any questions regarding these or any other pieces of legislation, feel free to send us an email at or call our hotline at 1-888-VOTE-SMART (1-888-868-3762).

Until next time, Informed Voter.

Related tags: 2007, blog, Congressional-Snapshots, key-votes

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