Why Congress Should Have More Authority

Today’s blog speaks for itself.

“I do not want Fannie and Freddie to be just another bank …  I do not want the same kind of focus on safety and soundness.”

– Rep. Barney Frank, Sept. 25, 2003

“I’ll lay down my marker right now, Mr. Chairman. I think Fannie and Freddie need some changes, but I don’t think they need dramatic restructuring in terms of their mission, in terms of their role in the secondary mortgage market …  I want to roll the dice a little bit more in this situation towards subsidized housing.

– Charles Schumer, April 6, 2005

I worry, frankly, that there’s a tension here [about Fannie and Freddie].  The more people, in my judgment, exaggerate a threat of safety and soundness, the more people conjure up the possibility of serious financial losses to the Treasury, which I do not see. I think we see entities that are fundamentally sound financially and withstand some of the disaster scenarios.”

– Rep. Barney Frank, Sept. 10, 2003

“… We were trying to fix something that wasn’t broke.  Housing is the economic engine of our economy, and in no community does this engine need to work more than in mine.  With last week’s hurricane and the drain on the economy from the war in Iraq, we should do no harm to these GSEs.  We should be enhancing regulation, not making fundamental change.   Mr. Chairman, we do not have a crisis at Freddie Mac, and in particular at Fannie Mae, under the outstanding leadership of Mr. Frank Raines.  Everything in the 1992 act has worked just fine. In fact, the GSEs have exceeded their housing goals . . .”

– Rep. Maxine Waters, Sept. 25, 2003

“I, just briefly will say, Mr. Chairman, obviously, like most of us here, [Fannie and Freddie are] one of the great success stories of all time. And we don’t want to lose sight of that and [what] has been pointed out by all of our witnesses here, obviously, the 70% of Americans who own their own homes today, in no small measure, due because of the work that’s been done here. And that shouldn’t be lost in this debate and discussion …”

– Sen. Chris Dodd, Feb. 25, 2004