A coalition of 61 nonprofit groups is protesting an affordable housing provision in the House GSE bill that would bar them from receiving grants from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac if they engage in political activities or affiliate with organizations that engage in voter registration or lobbying activities.The coalition, which includes housing, religious, and other nonprofit groups, contends that the provision in H.R. 4161 "would restrict the ability of American citizens to engage in our democratic process." They also stress in a letter to House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., that the restrictions on affiliations are "blatantly undemocratic and raise substantial constitutional questions." The coalition wants the Republican leader to remove the offending language from the government-sponsored enterprise reform bill before it goes to the House floor for a vote, possibly the week of Oct. 24. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., said it is "particularly ironic" that the Republicans would force "faith-based groups across the country to choose between providing housing and registering voters and assisting Americans with the opportunity to vote."

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