CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Wednesday, September 19, 2012, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 2440, the Market Transparency and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2011, under a suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. The bill was introduced by Rep. Robert Hurt (R-VA) on July 7, 2011, and referred to the Committee on Financial Services.
H.R. 2440 would direct the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director to require the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to dispose of all non-mission critical assets.
The Director would be required to make a determination of which assets are mission critical based on respective reports submitted by the enterprises under the provisions of the bill.
The bill would prohibit the enterprises from owning or holding any non-mission critical assets beyond a 36-month period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act.
This legislation is intended to reduce the government’s role in the mortgage market by shrinking outsized role the GSEs play in the mortgage market, which was a major cause of the financial crisis in 2008.
Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-AL) said of the bill, “Fannie and Freddie continue to report losses and rely on taxpayer dollars in order to continue operating. As a result, they represent the largest taxpayer-funded bailout so far. Selling assets that have nothing to do with the mission of these two companies is critical to protecting taxpayers from wasteful spending, and ensuring that Fannie and Freddie engage only in activities related to their mission.”
As the first two companies to receive a direct taxpayer bailout, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have since cost taxpayers almost $200 billion. In 2010, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration guaranteed more than 90 percent of new mortgages.
There was no Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate available for this bill.