WASHINGTON — House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling continued his tough criticism of the Federal Housing Administration on Tuesday, saying the agency is hurting borrowers, not helping them.
His panel has already scheduled two hearings to address the agency's troubled finances, after an independent audit last November showed a projected $16.3 billion capital shortfall.
But the first hearing, held last week, showcased a deep partisan divide over the causes of the agency's fiscal woes and the remedies to solve them. Republicans hammered the FHA for overextending credit to risky borrowers, a point Hensarling continued to make on CNBC's "Squawk Box."
"We shouldn't be loaning money to people to buy homes who can't afford to keep them," the Texas Republican told the morning program. "I mean, that's just devastating to American families. A lot of what you see in FHA today — when you look at their default rates — they're hurting many people that supposedly, purportedly they are there to help."
Hensarling also took aim at President Obama ahead of his State of the Union address, scheduled for Tuesday night.
"The president has had so many failed policies, but particularly his housing policies are ones that help lead the list," he said. "I mean, what we see in many respects is that the taxpayers continue to shell out more money and we continue to have these incredibly high default rates where people default not once, and twice and three times. Ultimately, we have to have a sustainable policy."
The Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing with FHA Commissioner Carol Galante on Wednesday.