Senate Democrats demand more GSE reform details from FHFA
WASHINGTON — Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee are pressuring Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to provide more details on administration plans to end the conservatorships of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
In a letter Tuesday, the lawmakers sought timelines on the release of new proposals for reforming the government-sponsored enterprises. The senators said they needed the information to conduct oversight of the housing finance system.
“As members concerned with housing access and affordability, and the continued success of the secondary mortgage market, we request additional, detailed information regarding the Administration’s plans to reform these entities and the analysis that supports these plans,” the senators, led by Mark Warner, D-Va., wrote. “Without additional information, Congress will be unable to fulfill its proper oversight role, or otherwise design policies to protect critical access and affordability to homeownership and rental housing.”
The letter includes more than 20 bullet points about aspects of GSE reform that the senators say they hope to better understand.
The senators are seeking analyses of the effect of GSE reform plans on mortgage products, as well as the impact on housing affordability. They are also asking for details on the legal basis for using a consent agreement to end the GSEs' conservatorships. And they are looking to better understand plans for Fannie and Freddie to raise capital.
The senators also ask whether the administration’s plan will reduce the GSEs' footprint, whether the GSEs will continue to contribute to the Housing Trust Fund and Capital Magnet Fund, and whether the administration plans to make any changes to the companies’ duty to serve requirements.