Wednesday, July 30, 2008
With none of the fanfare that usually attends a landmark bill becoming law, President Bush signed the huge housing rescue bill just after 7 a.m. Wednesday, shortly after he arrived in the Oval Office.
Only a few aides and administration officials were present, including Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Steve Preston and James B. Lockhart III, the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
The White House announced the signing by e-mail moments later.
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The bill, the biggest overhaul of housing law in decades, provides a lifeline for an estimated 400,000 homeowners facing foreclosure, and provides assurances to the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, whose books are loaded with bad mortgages.
Usually such a bill signing is accompanied by a self-congratulatory ceremony, with souvenir pens for congressional leaders and for members, senators and chairmen who spearheaded the legislation.