Congress has finally passed the $388 billion omnibus appropriations bill, which includes additional funding for the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight but cuts funding for the president's signature housing initiative -- the American Dream Downpayment Assistance program.The omnibus appropriations bill (H.R. 4818) for fiscal year 2005 also renews loan commitment authority for the Federal Housing Administration mortgage insurance programs. H.R. 4818 keeps loan commitment authority for the FHA single-family program at $185.0 billion and Ginnie Mae's loan guarantee limit at $200 billion -- the same as last year. But it raises the loan commitment authority for the FHA multifamily program from $25 billion in fiscal 2004 to $35 billion in fiscal 2005. OFHEO received nearly a 50% increase in its budget, to $59.2 million, as requested by the Bush administration. However, the president's request for $200 million for his downpayment assistance program was cut to $50 million. Meanwhile, the Department of Housing and Urban Development's budget has been cut by $618 million to $37.3 billion.

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