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Lawmakers Working to Decide Government’s Role in Housing

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Two members of the House Financial Services Committee from both sides of the aisle have responded to the repeated criticisms of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by writing a new bill that would create a government agency to replace the mortgage backing giants as they are wound down, according to a report from Bloomberg News. The bipartisan bill, which will be introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives soon, is seen as a direct challenge to Republican leaders who say Fannie and Freddie cost taxpayers too much money.

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In all, Fannie and Freddie have cost the government more than $130 billion since they were taken over in September 2008, and Republican leaders have repeatedly called for them to be shut down in a relatively small amount of time. The new law, introduced by California Republican Gary Miller and New York Democrat Carolyn McCarthy, would create a “secondary market facility” for residential consumer mortgages, one which would be governed by a board appointed by the president.

Fannie and Freddie were seized by the U.S. government during the national mortgage meltdown, and currently back more than half of all home loans in the country.

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