The legislation provides regulatory relief for community banks, redefines the Systematically Important Financial Institution or SIFI designation for larger banks, changes the Financial Stability Oversight Council, and modifies membership access to the Federal Home Loan Banks. It includes various pieces of legislation that drew bipartisan support in the last Congress.
The Fannie and Freddie portion of the bill includes provisions in Senator Bob Corker’s (R-TN) proposed “Jumpstart GSE Reform Act of 2013,” which prohibit Treasury from “selling, transferring, relinquishing, divesting or in any way disposing of” its senior preferred stock holdings in the GSEs. They also include a prohibition on using guarantee fees (G-fees) - that Fannie and Freddie charge lenders - to offset government spending. Other sections included in the bill addressing GSE reform only impact the single-family market. In an interesting contradiction, the Senate bill to extend the highway trust fund looks to the G-fees to pay for some of the costs of extending the fund.
In the past, NMHC/NAA have spoken out in opposition to raising G-fees to pay for unrelated spending by Congress. The G-fees are there to protect against credit losses and to protect the taxpayer. We will be continuing to closely monitor activities on the bill when Congress returns to Washington in September.
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