The House should be able to pass a GSE regulatory reform bill by April 2 when Congress leaves for its spring recess, according to Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass.The new chairman of the House Finance Services Committee said the bill will tighten regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac but won't mandate a cut in their giant mortgage portfolios. The House bill will require the two government-sponsored enterprises to contribute the equivalent of 5% of their profits to affordable housing, Rep. Frank told reporters after speaking at the National Press Club. And it will include an increase in the GSE loan limit so Fannie and Freddie can purchase mortgages in high-cost areas of California and Massachusetts. As the new chairman, Rep. Frank said affordable housing is his top priority and that he is looking for ways to buy out apartment owners to preserve existing affordable rental housing.

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