Bair: Congress should take up Fannie, Freddie reform after Wall Street bill

Congress should make a revamp of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac its next financial priority after finishing the Wall Street overhaul bill, a top government regulator said Friday.

Sheila Bair, chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), said in speech that the two firms should not remain as quasi-governmental entities. The two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) were bailed out by taxpayers in 2008 and continue to rely on billions of dollars in aid.

"After the financial reform package becomes law, GSE reform should rise to the top of the agenda," Bair said.

Republicans have criticized the Democratic financial bill for leaving out the question of how to remake Fannie and Freddie. Democrats have pledged to take up the issue in separate legislation.

The Obama administration has yet to lay out its views on the two firms' futures.