House Financial Services Committee Chairman Michael Oxley, R-Ohio, is urging Republicans members to support floor consideration of a GSE bill, despite opposition by conservative Republicans who want to kill an affordable housing fund provision."The House should consider this legislation as soon as possible," Reps. Oxley, Richard Baker, R-La., and Robert Ney, R-Ohio, say in a "dear-colleague" letter entitled "The Truth About the Affordable Housing Fund." House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, has postponed a vote until a consensus can be reached on the provision that requires Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to contribute a percentage of their profits to an AH fund. Chairman Oxley has tried to accommodate the conservatives by prohibiting the use of AH funds for lobbying and other political activities. But the conservatives are demanding that the funds not go to any groups that are involved in political activities. The dear-colleague letter explains that the GSE bill prohibits the misuse of AH funds and requires the two government-sponsored enterprises to contribute 3.5% of their profits toward rebuilding affordable housing in the Gulf Coast states hit by Hurricane Katrina. Chairman Oxley told a credit union group that the GSE affordable housing fund is not about lobbying or politics. "It is about getting money to the Gulf Coast region for the first two years to build AH housing," Rep. Oxley said. "That is a critical need down there."

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