A key Republican on the Senate Banking Committee appears to support the creation of a GSE affordable housing fund, but he is willing to explore other AH proposals as the committee chairman drafts a bill to tighten regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.Senator Rick Santorum, R-Pa., told a housing forum in Palmyra, Pa., that committee chairman Richard Shelby R-Ala., has real concerns about the proposal that would require the two government sponsored enterprises to contribute 5% of their after-tax profits to an AH fund. According to sources, the Pennsylvania senator said he is willing to work with the committee chairman, but he will keep his options open as the committee moves toward a mark up of the GSE bill -- possibly during the week of July 18. Sen. Santorum's press office did not return telephone inquiries about the speech. During the markup, committee Democrats are expected to offer an amendment to create a AH fund. Sen. Shelby recently said he is opposed to an AH fund that is based on GSE profits.

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