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Lawmakers reject effort to collect pay from U.N.

The House rejected a Republican-led effort to force the United Nations to give back $179 million in overpayments.

The vote was 259-169. Two-thirds of the votes were needed for the bill to pass.

Republicans pushed for the legislation as part of a cost-cutting effort. The State Department said $100 million of the money already had been designated for New York City’s police department to improve security around the U.N. facility.

Democrats and Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter T. King, New York Republican, opposed the measure. Mr. King said a terrorist attack in the area would be catastrophic.

The money goes to the Tax Equalization Fund, which was established to pay U.S. employees of the U.N. who have to pay taxes when their foreign counterparts do not.


Republicans urge end to Fannie, Freddie aid

House Republicans say it is time to end a costly federal bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that has cost taxpayers $150 billion.

At a hearing Wednesday of the House Financial Services Committee, Democrats generally agreed that changes are needed in the two housing finance giants. But they cautioned that going too far could jeopardize the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and the access to the housing market that Fannie and Freddie have helped provide to many moderate-income families.

Neither Republicans nor Democrats suggested specific plans for overhauling the two companies, a task that is expected to take Congress many months or longer.

In coming days, the Treasury Department is expected to release a report stating the Obama administration’s views about how to reshape Fannie and Freddie.