Bills to end federal control in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, pushed by Republican lawmakers, have faced such wholesale opposition from those in both parties that neither are expected to pass, according to a report from the San Antonio Express-News. Much of the resistance has come as a result of heavy lobbying from the housing industry, but others are concerned about the effect the bills would have.
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The bills are similar in many ways, and the version advanced in the House by Texas Republican Jeb Hensarling would specifically cut federal ties with Fannie Mae gradually over the next five years, the report said. However, even the legislation’s staunchest supporters aren’t optimistic for its chances.
“There’s no consensus on it,” said House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus of Alabama, according to the newspaper. “I can’t promise we will build consensus.”
Federal lawmakers who are eager to trim the federal budget highlighted Fannie and Freddie as easy targets, as they have cost taxpayers $150 billion in just a few years, the report said.
Fannie and Freddie control a large majority of all home loans in the U.S., and those against severing federal ties with the companies say doing so would have a massive negative effect on the housing market.