U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, speaking before the Richmond Association of Realtors in his home state of Virginia, said that while the mortgage interest tax deduction may spring up in conversation about saving the federal government money, it’s unlikely to face the ax, according to a report from political news site The Hill. Instead, he said Republicans were looking for a way to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in a way that would not damage the real estate industry.
“Our goal is to create an environment for the private sector to engage in lending again, where the federal government has filled a void in the market through Fannie and Freddie and FHA,” Cantor said, according to the site. “We need smart regulations for mortgage applications that mitigate risk but do not close the doors to homeownership to responsible borrowers.”
Republicans have been on a campaign to reduce government deficit spending and have kicked around a number of ideas to save money, including the repeal of the mortgage interest tax break. Doing so would have saved the federal government billions, but would also have been wildly unpopular and cost consumers thousands.
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