Mac on Wednesday for not helping more minorities become homeowners.

Most of the loans that Fannie and Freddie support are made to affluent and middle-income homebuyers, he said, even though the government supports the companies so they "facilitate homeownership by lower-income minorities and others deprived of access to credit in traditional mechanisms."

"What is the cost to the United States taxpayer ultimately, in light of their rather poor mission compliance?" he asked during a speech at an American Enterprise Institute conference.

Rep. Baker, who chairs House Banking's capital markets subcommittee, said Congress should standardize the regulation of Fannie, Freddie, and the 12 Federal Home Loan banks, and require them to use generally accepted accounting principles.

Though earnings are strong at Fannie and Freddie, he said, the government should prepare for an eventual downturn in the housing market.

Right now Fannie and Freddie "present no threat or risk to the American taxpayer," he said. "But at some juncture, unless some better oversight and regulatory capacity is given to the members of the Congress to judge the mission compliance, as opposed to taxpayer exposure, we may be facing similar conditions to the 1980s because of our inability to appropriately gauge market risk."

In response, Fannie spokesman David Jeffers said, "We always welcome working closely with the U.S. Congress to the extent that we can assure our representatives and the public that we are fulfilling our public mission."

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