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Wally Herger

House OKs mortgage rescue

WASHINGTON -- The House passed yesterday the most sweeping government plan yet to shore up the troubled housing market and help people struggling to pay their mortgages, adopting legislation that would underwrite $300 billion in new loans and keep an estimated 500,000 homeowners out of foreclosure.

Backers contend that the bill - or something close to it - has a good chance to become law even though Senate Republicans have criticized it and the president has threatened a veto.

"We're not stopping trying to compromise," said Rep. Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat who is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and chief author of the package....