Senate Republicans failed to reach an agreement with their Democratic counterparts as talks on a foreclosure bailout bill broke down in recent days. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., and the senior Republican on his committee, Richard Shelby, R-Ala., have been working to bridge divides on the bill for more than a month. Dodd introduced a new housing bill Monday that would help troubled borrowers trade mortgages with escalating monthly payments for more affordable loans backed by the federal government.

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