The public mission of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will come under the scrutiny of the House Banking capital markets subcommittee April 17.

The panel's chairman, Rep. Richard H. Baker, R-La., announced the oversight hearing this week as an opportunity to discuss the "goals and performance" of the two goverment sponsored enterprises.

"It is reasonable for Congress to ask whether the competitive benefits received by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are properly matched by their public responsibility to citizens seeking decent housing," Rep. Baker wrote in an April 10 letter to the agencies' chairmen, Leland C. Brendsel of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. and James A. Johnson of the Federal National Mortgage Association. Both executives are scheduled to testify at the hearing.

Rep. Baker also announced that four congressionally mandated reports about privatizing the secondary market agencies will be released May 15. His subcommittee will address the reports in hearings slated for June 12 and 13.

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