WASHINGTON Sen. Elizabeth Warren hinted at her views on GSE reform briefly Thursday, though it's still unclear whether she will support a bill introduced this summer by Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Mark Warner, D-Va.
The Massachusetts Democrat laid out her general position during a speech before the Financial Services Roundtable, which was closed to the press.
In her prepared remarks, which largely focused on the budget crisis and debt ceiling, Warren said that overhauling Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac remains "an important issue."
Notably, however, she suggested that the government-sponsored enterprises should be "significantly reformed."
The mortgage finance system "should preserve access to 30-year fixed mortgages and include a limited but real government guarantee," Warren said, in line with other Democrats on the issue.
She added: "I think most of us can agree that is the starting point, and, while it is a difficult problem, we need to stabilize the housing finance system."
The remarks come after President Obama said last month that he was supportive of efforts like the Corker-Warner plan, arguing that the GSEs should be eliminated.
Chairman Tim Johnson, D-S.D., and Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, the banking panel's ranking member, meanwhile, have said they will take up the effort to overhaul the housing finance system this fall, with the intention of reaching a bipartisan agreement by yearend. Still, Majority Leader Harry Reid made waves last month after breaking from the White House and suggesting in a local Nevada public radio interview that the GSEs should be altered but not necessarily shut down.
The Corker-Warner bill has otherwise garnered significant bipartisan support on the banking panel.
In March, Warren joined Corker, Warner and Sen. David Vitter, R-La., to introduce the Jumpstart GSE Reform Act, which would eliminate the increase of any guarantee fees at the GSEs to offset other government spending.
A spokeswoman for Warren declined to comment on the freshman senator's views or whether she is planning to come out in favor of the Corker-Warner legislation.