NATIONAL BRIEFING

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Friday, February 27, 2009

LEGISLATION

Bankruptcy Provision Stalled

The House delayed a vote on legislation to allow bankruptcy judges to modify the mortgages of troubled homeowners after the measure faced unexpected opposition from some Democrats.

Under the provision, a bankruptcy judge would be able to cut the principal on a homeowner's mortgage, lower the interest rate and extend the terms, provisions known as "cramdowns."

The measure is fiercely opposed by Republicans and the financial services industry. They complain that it would drive up their losses and force mortgage rate increases. But the latest questions came from moderate Democrats who say that modifications should be negotiated between lenders and borrowers rather than imposed in bankruptcy court, congressional aides said.

A vote could be rescheduled for next week.

CONTRACTING

Decision on F-22s Postponed

The Pentagon said that it won't decide for at least another month whether to buy more of Lockheed Martin's F-22 fighter jets, leaving it unclear whether the production lines in Georgia and Texas will remain open long term.

The Obama administration was expected to decide by March 1 if it was going to buy more of the fighter jets beyond the 183 it already has under contract. But Pentagon officials said that decision will not be made final until the fiscal 2010 defense budget is released to Congress in mid-April.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Air Force officials have disagreed on whether more planes are needed. Lockheed Martin has been lobbying congressional leaders not to cut the program, which it says creates about 25,000 jobs in Marietta, Ga.

EXECUTIVES

Yahoo Finance Chief Is Leaving

Yahoo's chief financial officer is leaving the troubled Internet pioneer in a management shake-up that signals the company's new chief executive is preparing to roll out her turnaround strategy. Blake Jorgensen, who had been Yahoo's finance chief since June 2007, will relinquish his duties as soon as his replacement is found, the company said.


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