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As Washington continues to recover from the recent government shutdown and debt ceiling fight, the Senate Banking Committee is trying to reignite momentum on housing finance reform. The panel is holding two hearings this week while outside groups conduct roundtables on various proposals for government-sponsored enterprise reform. Following are the five largest questions that have to be resolved:
Should there be a government backstop for the mortgage market?
This is the threshold question overhanging the entire reform effort. Conservatives like House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling would like to remove the government from the market. His PATH Act, which has passed his panel but not the full House, would largely privatize the mortgage system. But the Senate's bipartisan bill, authored by Sens. Bob Corker and Mark Warner, would keep a government backstop in case of catastrophic losses.
(Image: Bloomberg News)