Senate Banking Committee Democrats are preparing to offer an affordable housing fund amendment when the committee meets Thursday to mark up a GSE regulatory reform bill.Although the Democrats are not expected to support the government-sponsored enterprise reform bill drafted by the committee chairman, Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala, they still plan to offer an affordable housing fund amendment (as they did last year) that would require Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to fund the construction of affordable housing. Sen. Shelby has raised serious objections to an AH fund proposal approved by the House Financial Services Committee that would tie GSE contributions to profits and allow Fannie and Freddie to manage the funds. He did not include an affordable housing fund provision in his bill. However, the committee chairman is willing to reach out to Democrats, according to his spokeswoman, Virginia Davis. "Sen. Shelby continues to reach out to Sen. Reed and is willing to work with the Democrats to address their concerns on this issue," Ms. Davis said. A spokesman for Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., declined to say whether the Democrats' amendment would mirror the AH fund proposal approved by the House committee. "They are still working on it," he said.

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