By Timothy Ahmann
The Senate Banking Committee plans to vote on a U.S. housing finance reform bill on Thursday in what could be the last effort this year to move forward with legislation to wind down mortgage firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Sen. Tim Johnson, the Democrat who chairs the committee, and the panel's top Republican, Sen. Mike Crapo, had previously delayed a scheduled vote to build more support for the plan, which would create an industry-financed backstop for mortgages.
Johnson has said he and Crapo have the votes to push their bill through the committee, but sources have said an effort to secure more support from Democrats has fallen short. Because of that, it appears unlikely that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will allow the measure to come up for a vote on the Senate floor. The committee said in a statement on Monday that the panel would meet to consider the legislation on Thursday at 10 a.m.