WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 29, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, issued the following statement today after Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) announced the committee will continue discussions on the Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act (S.1217), legislation introduced last year by Corker and Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.) and cosponsored by a bipartisan group of 10 senators:
“The work we’ve done to craft a bipartisan bill to strengthen our housing finance system is a model for what can happen when legislators put politics aside and come to the table committed to solving the big problems facing our nation,” said Corker. “After a dozen hearings on housing finance reform, there is broad bipartisan support to wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to protect the American taxpayer from future bailouts. I appreciate Chairman Johnson and Ranking Member Crapo’s leadership throughout this process, and I look forward to continuing constructive talks to finalize the bill.”
In June 2013, Corker and Warner introduced S.1217 to strengthen America’s housing finance system by replacing government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with a privately capitalized system that preserves market liquidity and protects taxpayers from future economic downturns.
In 2008, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were taken into government conservatorship and given a $188 billion capital injection from taxpayers to stay afloat. As a result of this bailout, the private market has almost completely disappeared, and so nearly every loan made in America today comes with a full government guarantee. Despite this unsustainable situation, there still has been no real reform to our housing finance system since the financial crisis.
In addition to Corker and Warner, S. 1217 is currently cosponsored by Senators Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), and Mark Begich (D-Alaska), which includes five Republicans and five Democrats from the Senate Banking Committee.