An overhaul of the housing finance system looms large for the Republican-controlled Congress over the next two years.
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A legislative deal could end a six-year battle over eliminating Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which back $5 trillion in mortgages and needed nearly $190 billion in taxpayer help to stay afloat after the 2008 financial crisis.
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) is poised to take over the Senate Banking Committee and has expressed a willingness to move legislation. But he faces a series of challenges.