January 09, 2014

Senate Banking eyes next steps for GSE reform

Jan. 10, 2014 – Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Mark Warner, D-Va., told a panel discussion hosted by the Financial Services Roundtable that the Senate Banking Committee continues to work on GSE reform and leadership is nearing a decision on how to move forward.

Last summer, the two senators introduced the only bipartisan Senate Banking solution to date, and the "Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2013" (S. 1217) has served as a starting point for robust discussions about the future of housing finance reform. NAFCU continues to push for guaranteed access to the secondary mortgage market for credit unions in any reform efforts.

"We want a markup," Warner was quoted as saying in CQ Roll Call. "It is right and very appropriate that Sen. Johnson and Sen. Crapo – who have a good strong working relationship – take our product and put their stamps on it. And the sooner they have a product out, our group will take a look, but we ought to move this to a markup." Sens. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., and Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, are the chairman and ranking member of the committee.

Corker and Warner said they remain confident their bill has a strong chance of passing and noted the bipartisan support for the bill, which has five Democratic and five Republican cosponsors. All are Senate Banking members.

In his testimony before the Senate Banking Committee in November, NAFCU witness John Harwell of Apple FCU emphasized that, should the committee move forward with the Corker-Warner approach, participation in a new mutual entity should not be arbitrarily capped as it must generate enough volume to ensure continued liquidity for credit unions.

Continued access to a robust secondary market and fair pricing based on credit union loan quality continue to be top NAFCU concerns.