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Washington
Six Democratic senators back off housing finance bill support
WASHINGTON (5/12/14)--Six Senate Democrats have said they will not support recently proposed revisions to the secondary mortgage market if further changes are not made to the bill.
 
Legislation proposed by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) is scheduled to be marked up this week. The 425-page bill, known as the Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2014 (S. 1217), would overhaul the housing finance market and address the issues created by the current government ownership of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
 
In a private meeting last week, Charles Schumer (N.Y.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Robert Menendez (N.J.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Jack Reed (R.I.) reportedly said the proposed structure of a new mortgage reinsurance body was unworkable. They also said the proposed bill did not do enough to address affordable housing issues, Bloomberg reported.
 
Johnson last week delayed a scheduled markup of the bill to gain greater support, and he told Politico that the bipartisan bill could pass his committee by a 13-9 vote.
 
The Credit Union National Association supports the bill and has advocated for credit union priorities on several fronts, including meetings with White House officials, Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt and members of Congress. In these meetings, CUNA has encouraged policymakers to be mindful of the existing regulatory burdens of credit unions and other mortgage servicers, and to avoid layering additional regulatory authority on top of existing regulatory regimes that address mortgage servicing.


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