Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., and 40 other congressmen are urging the Federal Reserve Board to extend its Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility to provide "essential support" for the commercial real estate mortgage market.

The program is due to expire at yearend and the Fed just recently opened the special facility to finance purchases of newly issued and legacy commercial mortgage-backed securities.

 "The $6 billion commercial real estate market has recently experienced a massive credit shortfall, which the TALF has only just begun to help stabilize," the congressmen say in a letter to Fed chairman Ben Bernanke. The Fed needs to give the TALF more time to work, "especially with $1 trillion in commercial real estate debt maturing in the near future," the July 31 letter says.

 The Fed chief recently signaled that he is open to extending the TALF.

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