WASHINGTON - Banking industry lobbyists are trying to prevent a powerful senator from proposing legislation that would stop the Federal Home Loan Bank System's controversial mortgage finance program dead in its tracks.

Sen. Christopher S. Bond, chairman of a key Appropriations subcommittee, is reportedly considering whether to temporarily freeze a recent Federal Housing Finance Board rule that outlines permissible investments by the Home Loan banks. The moratorium would also reinstate a $9 billion cap on the assets of Mortgage Partnership Finance, a program that lets participating Home Loan banks acquire loans and handle their market risk while originators keep the credit risk.

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