Reps. Frank, Miller Call On Senate To Raise GSE Loan Limits

August 21, 2007

Washington, DC - House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) and Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA) are urging the U.S. Senate to raise the conforming loan limit beyond the House passed reform bill for the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. 

“It now is clear we underestimated in the House bill how far we should raise the conforming loan limit, and the current crises in the mortgage market demonstrate we should raise it to a higher level.” said Chairman Frank. “I urge the Senate to make this a priority as part of GSE reform, because we now have the opportunity to help homeowners get access to needed credit by allowing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to play a larger role.”

“In the current housing crisis, it is clear that we must immediately provide additional mortgage liquidity in all areas of the country, including high cost areas. I encourage the Senate to move quickly to increase conforming loan limits so that we can provide the housing GSEs the ability to comprehensively respond to the current situation so that current homeowners and future homebuyers have the opportunity to safely achieve the dream of homeownership,” said Rep. Miller.

In May, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1427, the Federal Housing Finance Reform Act of 2007, by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 313 to 104. The bill will overhaul the regulatory oversight of the government sponsored enterprises (GSE) of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks, and create a new, independent regulator with broad powers analogous to current banking regulators. The regulator’s primary responsibility will be to ensure the safety and soundness of the institutions. In addition, the bill creates an off-budget and non-taxpayer financed affordable housing fund, which will dedicate hundreds of millions of dollars for the construction, maintenance and preservation of affordable housing with the first year of the fund to be dedicated to the hurricane stricken areas of the Gulf Coast, and billions of dollars over the next five years for affordable housing nationwide. The bipartisan bill was originally introduced by Chairman Frank, along with Reps. Richard Baker (R-LA), Mel Watt (D-NC) and Gary Miller (R-CA).

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