Sen. Robert Bennett, R-Utah, has predicted that the Senate Banking Committee will approve a bill to strengthen the regulation of the three big housing government-sponsored enterprises by a near-unanimous vote."We will create a new regulator for the GSEs," Sen. Bennett told an American's Community Bankers meeting. "Whether it will be as tough a regulator as Treasury wants -- is still to be determined." The Treasury Department has been insisting on certain provisions such as receivership powers, which Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac oppose. The Utah Republican told reporters he is waiting for the committee chairman, Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., to craft the receivership provision to see whether he can support it. "Let's wait and see what the language is," Sen. Bennett said. "We are negotiating over that right now." House Financial Services Committee Chairman Michael Oxley, R-Ohio, also told the ACB meeting that he is optimistic about passing GSE legislation. "At the end of the day, I think we will be successful in getting a bill to the president."

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