Inside the Beltway: GSE Housing Reform and More…

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The new 116th Congress convened on January 3, 2019, with members of Congress sworn into office. Although the first month was consumed by the partial government shutdown, Congressional committee assignments were finalized, and agendas were rolled out.

In the Senate Banking Committee, Chairman Mike Crapo outlined a framework for GSE housing reform based upon bi-partisan proposals from the last Congress. His blueprint would release Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from conservatorship and provide for gradual privatization of these markets. The Trump administration has also signaled an interest in the issue, so it is possible we will see movement in this area over the next several months. Chairman Crapo and Ranking Member Sherrod Brown also released a joint statement outlining priorities, including their intention to re-visit data collection and protection provisions in the FCRA.

The dynamic between the Senate Banking Committee and House Financial Services Committee has yet to emerge. Chairwoman Maxine Waters is a zealous consumer advocate, so any proposals will be viewed through that prism. We also expect robust oversight and investigative activity of the industry, again in the context of consumer protection.

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