Kanjorski: RSC won't stall GSE bill

Rep. Paul Kanjorski (Pa.), top Democrat on the House panel that oversees government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), told reporters yesterday that objections from the conservative Republican Study Committee (RSC) would not prevent the full House from taking up a bill to create a new regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

But Kanjorski cast further doubt on the bill’s chances for a swift floor vote. “We were all under the impression that we’d come back from break and vote on” the GSE bill, Kanjorski said. “The administration recognizes that’s not going to happen.”

The RSC had vowed to block GSE legislation until a provision setting aside some of the government mortgage lenders’ profits for affordable housing was modified to prohibit groups engaged in political advocacy from receiving money.

“That’s not going to hold it up. The other issue, of portfolios, not the problem with the RSC,” will hold it up, Kanjorski said. Lawmakers have been grappling with internal differences over how strong the limits on GSEs’ securities portfolios should be, especially in light of the White House’s restrictive recommendations.

While the affordable-housing fund is often characterized as a Democratic priority, Kanjorski added, those fighting for it are “not just Democrats. There is a lot of support from Republicans” on the House Financial Services Committee. Rep. Mike Oxley (R-Ohio), the chairman and the GSE bill’s chief author, told a gathering of credit-union officials earlier this week that he remains committed to the fund.