March 7, 2013 - A NAFCU-penned letter outlining the association's core principles regarding housing finance reform was officially entered into the record of Wednesday's House subcommittee hearing on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The hearing was held by the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises, and NAFCU's letter was raised by both panel Chairman Scott Garrett, R-N.J., and Rep. Gary Peters, D-Mich. In the letter, NAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler urged lawmakers to pass comprehensive legislation that maintains credit unions' access to the secondary market; ensures at least two government-sponsored enterprises exist in the marketplace; and provides for explicit government guarantees on the payment of principal and interest on mortgage-backed securities.
| NAFCU's Jillian Pevo (right, shown here with
Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., during a Hill visit
this January) attended Wednesday's hearing.
There were weather closures in and around the nation's capital Wednesday, but Jillian Pevo, NAFCU's senior associate director of legislative affairs, attended Wednesday's subcommittee hearing. The hearing yielded no consensus among subcommittee members about how to proceed with housing finance reform.
Generally, Republicans want the government to have a smaller role in housing finance, and Democrats tend to support a government backstop. Moreover, Wharton School professor Susan Wachter said this backstop needs to be in place, at the very least, in times of crisis. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., expressed support for a public-private partnership in housing and said the private market will not be able to support the housing market recovery on its own.
On Monday, the FHFA announced its housing reform plans for 2013, which include the creation of a new securitization platform for the secondary market that will operate independently of Fannie and Freddie. The FHFA plan is silent on what, if any, role the federal government will have in the new platform.
NAFCU is working closely with both sides of the aisle to make sure credit unions' interests are protected in any housing finance reform effort.