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Bi-partisan Group Introduces Legislation to Replace GSEs
July 1 - Legislation introduced by a bipartisan group of senators is meant to strengthen America’s housing finance system by replacing government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with a privately capitalized system that is designed to preserve market liquidity and protect taxpayers from future economic downturns.
The group includes Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., Mark Warner, D-Va., Mike Johanns, R-Neb., Jon Tester, D-Mont., Dean Heller, R-Nev., Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Kay Hagan, D-N.C., all members of the Senate Banking Committee.
“Five years after the financial crisis, it is past time for us to modernize our unstable system of housing finance,” said Corker. “The framework we’re presenting here will protect taxpayers while maintaining market liquidity, and is the best opportunity we’ll have to finally move beyond the failed GSE model of private gains and public losses.”
“Housing finance is the last piece of unfinished business remaining after the 2008 economic meltdown,” Warner said. “We have designed thoughtful reforms that will protect taxpayers from future downturns while responsibly preserving the availability of the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage for homebuyers.”
The Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act:
- Mandates 10 percent capital, up front, for the system to protect taxpayers against future bailouts.
- Winds down Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Finance Agency within five years of bill passage.
- Transfers appropriate utility duties and functions to the modernized, streamlined and accountable Federal Mortgage Insurance Corp., modeled in part after the FDIC.
- Replaces the failed “housing goals” of the past with a transparent and accountable market access fund that focuses on ensuring there is sufficient decent housing available. The fund is not paid for with tax dollars, but through a small FMIC user fee that only those who choose to use the system pay.
- Ensures institutions of all sizes have direct access to the secondary market.