The new majority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives is one of the original co-sponsors of the GSE regulatory reform bill, and it may improve the chances that the House will vote on the bill this year.The Republican Caucus has selected Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., to replace Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, who stepped down following his indictment in Texas. As the acting majority leader, Rep. Blunt inherits a dispute in which conservative Republicans are objecting to a provision in the bill that requires Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to contribute a percentage of their profits to affordable housing. Rep. DeLay sided with the conservatives and refused to schedule the GSE bill for floor consideration, despite pressure from House Financial Services Committee Chairman Michael Oxley, R-Ohio, and GSE subcommittee Chairman Richard Baker, R-La., who recently changed the AH provision to direct the funds to hurricane disaster areas. It is unclear how the acting majority leader will approach this dispute, since the conservatives backed his promotion to the second-most-powerful position in the House. However, he was one of the first co-sponsors of the government-sponsored enterprise bill. "Chairman Oxley and Baker have done the hard work of crafting thoughtful legislation that will protect consumers, homebuyers, and taxpayers," he said in an April 13 statement. "Their legislation will strengthen regulatory oversight of the GSEs and help ensure confidence in our housing market."

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