The Federal Housing Finance Agency would have 30 days to appoint an inspector general under bipartisan legislation introduced Thursday.

The legislation, sponsored by Reps. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., Dennis Moore, D-Kan., Judy Biggert, R-Ill., and Darrell Issa, R-Calif., escalates a battle that has been brewing since November, when the Finance Agency was accused of stripping Edward Kelley of inspector general duties.

Kelley was the I.G. at the Federal Housing Finance Board, which was merged into the Finance Agency in 2008. The Finance Agency, backed by the Justice Department, contends that Kelley could not continue in that post because only the president can appoint an I.G.

"It defies common sense to leave [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac] without proper oversight while the federal government keeps giving them unlimited access to its ATM card," Issa said in a press release Thursday.

A spokeswoman from the Finance Agency declined to comment on the bill Thursday.

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