Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner on Wednesday defended the administration's decision not to outline a plan for the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac until 2011, saying it was focused on other issues.

"We are doing a lot of things," Geithner told lawmakers at a hearing. "We've just got a lot going on, and we just thought to do it well and to do it carefully, do it right, we wanted to go through a process of more careful reflection.

"If we rushed it, the risk is we would not achieve enough and not get consensus."

He said the administration would release broad objectives and principles to guide a government-sponsored enterprise overhaul at a House Financial Services Committee hearing scheduled for March 23. The Treasury also will release a list of broad questions on strategy for public comment, followed by the development of a more concrete plan next year.

Geithner emphasized that the plan will go beyond Fannie and Freddie.

"We want to take a careful look at the entire government agencies that act in the housing market and the set of policies that helped contribute to this terrible crisis," he said. "We are going to need fundamental reform in the housing market, not just Fannie and Freddie."

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.