House to Explore Reforming Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

Chairman Scott Garrett of the Capital Markets Subcommittee to hold Feb. 9 hearing

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Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., chairman of the House Financial Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Capital Markets announced Thursday that he would hold a hearing on Feb. 9 on reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

“This hearing will be the first in a series of hearings to examine the steps Congress can take right now to protect taxpayers from the ongoing bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,” Garrett said in a statement announcing the hearing. “With a price tag of $150 billion and counting, Congress must take immediate measures to minimize this cost and ensure taxpayers are never put in this situation again. The status quo is unacceptable, which is why we will continue to seek alternative solutions to housing finance in the United States that decrease the government’s exposure and get private capital off the sidelines.”

The hearing, entitled GSE Reform: Immediate Steps to Protect Taxpayers and End the Bailout, will focus on immediate steps that Congress can take to begin Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s transition out of Federal conservatorship and examine ways to end the $150 billion--and growing--bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Garrett’s subcommittee said in the release.

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., said in the same release that “just because the Administration is not prepared to act on GSE reform does not mean that House Republicans will not take action. This is the beginning of our efforts to wind down the operations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in order to protect taxpayers from having even more of their hard-earned money thrown at these two companies.”

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