Republican and Democratic lawmakers agree that the U.S. housing system would be better without government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But in an election year, facing a still-fragile housing market, Congress is unlikely to attempt to wind down the mortgage giants. "There's not a politician out there who is willing to take the risk of proposing something with a short transition period that would potentially be blamed for cratering the housing market," said Douglas Elliott, a Brookings Institution fellow.

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