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Democrats Receptive To Fix For Fannie, Freddie

Riding to the rescue of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae was not on the calendar for Congress this week, but lawmakers appear ready to put the Bush administration's package to prop up the two struggling institutions on the fast track. Congress is being called on to increase Fannie and Freddie's lines of credit by billions of dollars, and to allow the government to buy the mortgage giants' stock in order to provide more capital.

But some lawmakers are already calling for Congress to slow down, and critics have charged Democrats with being overly cozy with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which have showered candidates from both parties with campaign contributions.

Leaders of the Federal Reserve, the Treasury and the Securities and Exchange Commission appear before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday to testify about the plan, which would be attached to the housing bill now making its way through Congress.

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NPR News' Brian Naylor is a correspondent on the Washington Desk. In this role, he covers politics and federal agencies.