Steve Preston, the new U.S. Housing and Urban Development secretary, says he is “very optimistic” that the Bush administration and lawmakers can reach an agreement to shore up the flailing mortgage market. The White House has threatened to veto the sweeping housing legislation making its way through the Senate. The House already passed a separate bill. Both bills would let homeowners refinance mortgages through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which would get overhauled.
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