Congress Pushes Bill to Help Homeowners

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The Senate is on the verge of passing a massive mortgage rescue plan, but it may see a veto from the president.

"Unless we act and do so promptly, we're going to look at a situation that only gets worse," Sen. Christopher Dodd said. Dodd helped form the bill and is confident it will get rid of "a growing fear in the country" over housing.

The plan, which cleared the Senate Thursday, would allow homeowners who can't afford their mortgage payments to refinance through the government, rather than losing their homes.

Lending companies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would also see tighter regulation when providing loans.

Still, political leaders remain divided on the plan because of its $300 billion price tag, and President Bush has threatened a veto because of it.

The Congressional Black Caucus believes the bill is crucial in helping rebuild the communities hit hardest by the housing crisis.  But White House officials say the plan would unfairly help bail out those lenders who help start the crisis.

House leaders say the bill should come into effect in phases, rather than immediately like supporters are proposing.  They plan to revise the legislation.

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