A few Republican senators are blocking efforts by Democratic leaders to pass a Federal Housing Administration reform bill just before the Senate leaves for a two-week Thanksgiving break.Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., urged Republicans to expedite passage by allowing an up-or-down vote on the bill (S. 2338), which would increase the FHA's capacity to refinance struggling subprime borrowers. "These borrowers need better mortgage options, and FHA loans will be a better option with this legislation," Sen. Reid said. But Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said he would object to such a vote, which caused Sen. Reid to withdraw his request for a vote late Thursday afternoon. The Oklahoma Republican said the Senate needs to take the time to debate and consider changes to the FHA reform bill. And he raised concerns about increasing the FHA loan limit to $417,000 (the conforming loan limit) and lowering the FHA downpayment requirement from 3.0% to 1.5%.

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