Magazine article Mortgage Banking

Lawmakers Respond to Obama's Housing-Finance Paper

Magazine article Mortgage Banking

Lawmakers Respond to Obama's Housing-Finance Paper

Article excerpt

A group of influential lawmakers were quick to respond to the Obama administration's white paper for housing finance reform, including some key players in the House and the Senate. It was clear that the conversation between the White House and lawmakers was just beginning, and nowhere near the point of voting on actual legislation.

The new chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Sen. Tim Johnson (D-South Dakota), released the following statement: "Maintaining a functioning housing finance system is an important part of the continuing economic recovery and one of my top priorities. I welcome the administration's white paper, which adds valuable insight to the ongoing conversation."

Johnson added, "I am reviewing the new report, and look forward to working with my colleagues and the White House to find bipartisan consensus around sound policy solutions that protect homeowners, investors, renters and the American taxpayers."

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In the House, former House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts) issued this statement: "The administration's white paper is a thoughtful beginning that sets the stage for a constructive discussion of the future of housing finance."

Frank added, "I am especially pleased that the paper specifically supports funding for rental housing." He applauded the provisions passed in the Dodd-Frank Act that he said help ensure that "fewer bad mortgages are made, that there is more disclosure, and that mortgage securitizers must maintain a percentage of the securities and thus hold part of the risk."

But Frank said the key question going forward will be "how to protect taxpayers without unduly increasing the cost of mortgages to American families."

The ranking member on the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises, Rep. …

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