May 15, 2014

Hensarling: 'Window for action' closing for GSEs

May 16, 2014 – House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, responded positively to the Senate Banking Committee's progress reporting out S. 1217, the "Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act," but raised concerns about elements of the legislation and said time is running out for reform.

The Senate committee voted 13-9 on Thursday to report out a revised version of the Johnson-Crapo housing finance reform bill, but whether the revised bill will reach the Senate floor is unclear. Hensarling introduced H.R. 2767, the "Protecting American Taxpayers and Homeowners (PATH) Act" last summer; it was voted out of committee but has not been put to a House vote.

"The fact remains the window for action this year is quickly closing, and I fear it may already be too late during this Congress with an already full agenda to get meaningful reform bills through both chambers," Hensarling said in a statement. "Additionally, while there are several common-sense provisions in the Senate bill that are similar to those we included in the PATH Act, the Senate bill features a controversial and irresponsible new politicization of mortgage credit insisted on by Senate Democrats under the guise of affordable housing."

Hensarling added, "This wealth redistribution scheme, far worse than that of the current system …"

NAFCU will keep working with lawmakers to ensure credit unions' concerns are addressed in any reform package. That includes ensuring that small institutions have equal, competitive access to the secondary mortgage market in any future housing finance system.