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The positive reaction came as Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner told the committee that the Obama administration wants Congress to approve legislation within two years that would slowly dismantle Fannie and Freddie. Failing to do so would worry the financial markets by leaving serious problems unresolved, he said.

“Our hope is Congress will work with us to find a consensus for a long-term solution,” Mr. Geithner told the lawmakers.

The hearing was held three weeks after the Obama administration released a report calling for a stark reduction of the federal role in housing. The nation’s housing market has been battered in recent years by low home prices and vast numbers of foreclosures, and politicians from both parties want to find a way to have private lenders not the government bear more of the burden.


Gingrich announcement expected on Thursday

ATLANTA | Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has scheduled a meeting Thursday with Georgia’s governor, a key supporter, as he prepares for a likely White House bid. A Republican official aware of the meeting said Mr. Gingrich and his wife, Callista, will meet with Gov. Nathan Deal at the state Capitol on Thursday afternoon.

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to disclose the plans.


Rove, allies plan to raise $120 million

A pair of political action committees organized by Republican strategist Karl Rove and demonized by Democrats said Tuesday it plans to raise $120 million ahead of the 2012 elections to help make President Obama a one-term president and to elect Republicans.

American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS told supporters they look to raise the massive sum to combat unions, which spent a combined $400 million to help elect Mr. Obama and Democrats in 2008. With eyes on Wisconsin and Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s showdown there with Democrats over union rights, the conservative committees hope to attract donors and attention early.

“We’ve spoken with all of our donors. They’re sticking with us, and most plan to come in at a significantly higher level than last time,” said Jonathan Collegio, a spokesman for the effort.


Court asked to lift gay-marriage stay

SAN FRANCISCO | California’s attorney general asked a federal appeals court on Tuesday to allow gay marriages to resume while the court considers the constitutionality of the state’s ban on same-sex unions.

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