In the wake of a legislative defeat, Freddie Mac will continue to press for a bill to "clarify" its charter to enable it to provide an alternative to private mortgage insurance.
Freddie Mac's chairman, Leland Brendsel, said his company would continue to pursue its goal in the next session of Congress. He blasted what he called "misinformation" that surrounded a failed amendment to this year's appropriations bill for the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The amendment drew fire from the mortgage insurance industry, from banking and mortgage lending trade groups, and from the Treasury Department, which said that the provision should be subject to public hearings.
The mortgage insurers portrayed the amendment as a backdoor attempt to allow Freddie Mac to get into the private mortgage insurance business, in violation of its charter.
Mr. Johnson of Fannie Mae threw his company's support behind Freddie Mac's effort, though he noted that Fannie Mae had declined to support the amendment because "that's not the way we do business." Mr. Johnson and Mr. Brendsel said their goal is not to take business away from private insurers, but to provide consumers with more choices.