Bush Says He’ll Sign Housing Bill

WASHINGTON  — President Bush is dropping his opposition to a bill aimed at calming the chaotic housing market.

The reversal comes despite Bush’s objections to a 3.9 billion-dollar provision he says would help lenders and bankers, not homeowners who need help.

Despite its concerns, the White House says “the positive aspects of the bill are needed now” to increase confidence in the housing and financial markets.

Under the bill, the government would help struggling homeowners get new, cheaper loans. The government would also be able to offer troubled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac a cash infusion.

The House is expected to vote on the bill Wednesday. The measure could become law as early as this week.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson says agreement on a sweeping housing rescue bill will send a strong message to investors around the world and will be key to helping the nation turn the corner on the housing crisis.

Paulson said Wednesday the bill had some “wasteful” provisions such as a $3.9 billion provision to provide federal help for homeowners facing foreclosure. But he adds he urged President Bush to drop his veto threat over this provision because of the other important elements in the bill.

Paulson tells reporters at the Treasury Department: “This is a very important message that we are sending to investors around the world.” He says it would play a key role in “turning the corner” on the housing crisis.