WASHINGTON — The release Sunday of housing finance reform legislation by the two most senior members of the Senate Banking Committee was potentially a landmark step in efforts to chart a path beyond Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The final fate of the legislation authored by Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson, D-S.D., and ranking member Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, is still very unclear. The House Republican leadership still appears to favor a very different approach, and progress for any bill dealing with the government-sponsored enterprises could be hampered by the distraction of the midterm elections.

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