Bachus, Royce Fight For Chairmanship

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WASHINGTON-Rep. Spencer Bachus, who is the lead candidate to chair the House Financial Services Committee next year, said he is focused on phasing out government support for the mortgage market, rolling back certain derivatives provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, and limiting the power of the new consumer protection agency.

But the Alabama Republican will face a fight with a fellow Republican first before he gets a chance to act on that agenda.

Rep. Ed Royce told Bloomberg News he planned to campaign against Bachus to chair the committee. Although the California Republican has proven to be a top leader on the panel, it's unclear if he will have the support of Republican leadership.

In an interview prior to Royce's comments, the Alabama Republican was already plotting his agenda. He promised a change in tone and style from Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA), pledging to consult closely with subcommittee chairmen and work in a bipartisan manner when possible.

Bachus sees his first test in questions over what to do with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were seized by the government two years ago. He said the long-term goal is to cut government backing of the mortgage market, but he also announced plans to restrict underwriting.

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