Inside Politics: Obama offers more aid for housing market

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President Obama is announcing new mortgage relief for members of the military and veterans as well as homeowners with government-insured loans. The initiatives are the administration’s latest attempts to help borrowers struggling under a depressed housing market.

Mr. Obama spelled out the plan Tuesday at the start of his first news conference of the year.

Borrowers with mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration would be able to refinance at half the fee that the FHA charges. The administration says a typical FHA borrower who refinances could save more than $1,000 a year from the changes.

For service members and veterans, Mr. Obama says, major lenders will review foreclosures or denials of lower interest rates. For wrongful foreclosure, service members will be paid their lost equity and receive additional compensation.

MASSACHUSETTS

Sen. Brown asks PAC to pull campaign ads

BOSTON — The campaign of Sen. Scott P. Brown, Massachusetts Republican, is promising to donate money to charity after learning that a political action committee ran online ads on his behalf.

Mr. Brown’s campaign said Tuesday that it was the first time Mr. Brown or his chief Democratic rival, Elizabeth Warren, has enforced a pledge against third-party ads in the Senate race.

Mr. Brown’s campaign manager, Jim Barnett, said the Coalition of Americans for Political Equality has been asked to stop the ads.

In keeping with the Jan. 23 pledge, Mr. Barnett said, Mr. Brown’s campaign would donate the equivalent of half the PAC’s spending on the ads to a charity of Ms. Warren’s choice.

Ms. Warren’s campaign says it is disappointed that what it called a “pro-Mitt Romney super PAC” broke the pledge.

A message left with the organization wasn’t returned Tuesday.

SENATE

Levin says Israeli attack on Iran likely

Sen. Carl Levin, Michigan Democrat, says he thinks an Israeli attack on Iran is likely if Tehran doesn’t follow international demands to stop uranium enrichment and allow inspections of its nuclear program.

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