Two Democratic lawmakers urged President Bush in a letter Monday to put Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair in charge of a broad government initiative to mitigate foreclosures.

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank and Rep. Maxine Waters, the panel's No. 3 Democrat, cited Ms. Bair's work to reduce foreclosures at the FDIC as experience in leading a governmentwide effort.

The government has several efforts under way, including increasing modifications for loans held by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and a new Federal Housing Administration program to refinance struggling borrowers.

Ms. Bair has been the most vocal regulator in pushing modifications to avert foreclosures. "Giving one official clear responsibility, particularly one as knowledgeable on the subject as Chairman Bair, will improve the effectiveness of the efforts of the federal government at a time when prompt and efficient action is most urgently needed," Reps. Frank and Waters wrote.

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