Pelosi Says Bush Won’t Veto Housing Bill

Posted July 17, 2008 at 3:19pm

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that she doubted President Bush would follow through with a threat to veto housing legislation over the bill’s $4 billion in Community Development Block Grant funds.

House Democratic leaders are aiming to take up the housing package next week and have said it will include a Bush administration proposal to bail out ailing mortgage companies.

Under that provision, the government would be authorized to extend 18 months of credit to beleaguered mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The White House proposal, which House GOP leaders have complained goes too far, would also allow the government to purchase an equity interest in the two entities.

“I believe we will have strong bipartisan support for that,” Pelosi said.

A potential obstacle to the bill’s speedy passage into law is that Bush has said he would veto it if it includes $4 billion in CDBG funds, a provision backed by the Congressional Black Congress. But Pelosi dismissed this as a likely outcome.

“Let me get this straight,” the Speaker said. “The president is asking us to do something quite significant to address this housing crisis which has long been neglected by his administration, and he is going to resent the ability of state and local governments to buy up these properties, which used to be on the revenue rolls, which are now abandoned properties taking down communities.”

“I don’t think the president is going to veto this bill,” Pelosi said. “I don’t think so.”