Opposition to the creation of a new GSE affordable housing fund appears to be growing, and a "dear colleague" letter being circulated in the House now has 24 signatures.As previously reported, the letter authored by Rep. Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., contends that requiring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to contribute 5% of after-tax profits to an affordable housing fund runs against "free market principles that have made the nation's housing market one of the most accessible in the world." In signing the letter, the 24 congressmen have pledged to vote against a comprehensive bill to strengthen regulation of the two government-sponsored enterprises unless the affordable housing provision is taken out of the bill. The Pence letter is still being circulated, and it will not be sent to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, until the GSE bill is scheduled for a House vote. During the House Financial Services Committee mark-up of the GSE bill on May 25, Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., tried to strip the AH fund provision from the bill. But his amendment failed by a 53-17 vote. Seventeen Republicans voted against the AH fund provision.

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