First set of GOP bills changing Fannie, Freddie advance

"Americans have seen Democrats flee certain states, and now we’re seeing Democrats in Congress use the same ploy," said Rep. Scott GarrettErnest (Scott) Scott GarrettOvernight Finance: Trump repeals consumer arbitration rule | GOP scrambles on tax bill | Trump floats repealing ObamaCare mandate in tax bill | Powell told he'll be picked for Fed chair | Fed holds off on rate hike | Bank nominee gets rough reception Manufacturers increase pressure against Ex-Im nominee Garrett Trump bank nominee gets rough reception at confirmation hearing MORE (R-N.J.), the chairman of the subcommittee. "The American people want us to end the bailouts, and we hope the Democrats on the committee will start taking this issue — and their responsibilities as legislators — seriously.”

Democrats, meanwhile, criticized the "piecemeal" approach offered by Republicans, arguing it could lead to market uncertainty.

"Undertaking these short-term steps without a vision for what comes next is a risky strategy, given that the entirety of the American housing finance system is at stake," said Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the subcommittee.

The bills would make a number of changes to how the institutions operate, including limiting bonuses to top executives, repealing affordable housing goals, raising the fees they charge to guarantee mortgages and restricting the size of mortgages they can buy.

The package of bills is the first of several in the works by committee Republicans, who ultimately want to see Fannie and Freddie removed from government support completely. Committee Chairman Spencer BachusSpencer Thomas BachusTrump bank nominee gets rough reception at confirmation hearing Overnight Finance: Breaking - GOP delays release of tax bill | Changes to 401(k)s, state and local taxes hold up bill | Trump aims to sign tax legislation by Christmas | Hensarling to retire after term | Trump to repeal arbitration rule Senators, don't put Ex-Im Bank's fossil fuel financing back in business MORE (R-Ala.) said Tuesday that 16 more bills were in the works, but did not delve into specifics as to their contents or when they might be released.

The panel is adopting a dual-track approach to the topic, simultaneously pushing a broad bill offered by Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) that could eliminate Fannie and Freddie within five years. Bachus has indicated that bill will be subject to a committee vote sometime in early May.