Corker pressing amendment to prohibit increase in guarantee fees

Last week, Corker introduced bipartisan legislation that would not only prohibit use of the guarantee fee to offset other government spending but would prevent the sale of U.S. Treasury-owned senior preferred shares without congressional approval.

Corker, Mark Warner (D-Va.), David Vitter (R-La.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), all members of the Senate Banking panel said they introduced the legislation to "spur substantive and structural housing finance reform."

The preferred shares were purchased by the Treasury during the 2008 financial crisis.

"If Treasury were to decide to sell its preferred share investment without Congress having first reformed our housing sector, we would just be returning to a time where gains are for private shareholders and losses are for taxpayers," Corker said. 

"I hope Congress will take the necessary steps to ensure housing finance reform can happen as soon as possible. said Corker. 

Warner said the broader bill would transition Fannie and Freddie out of their present roles. 

"The guarantee fee should not be mixed with other funding needs, and the preferred shares should be handled as one step within a multi-year process,” Warner said.

“It has been nearly five years since the financial crisis, and it is past time to reform Fannie and Freddie. That means removing the obstacles and starting a bipartisan effort to take on housing finance reform this Congress,” Warren said. 

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