Washington, D.C. - Former Senator and HUD Secretary Mel Martinez and former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros, co-chairs of the Bipartisan Policy Center Housing Commission, released the following statement about the agreement reached today by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson and Ranking Member Mike Crapo on GSE reform:
“We applaud Senate Banking Chairman Tim Johnson and Ranking Member Mike Crapo for reaching agreement on a bipartisan housing finance reform proposal that builds on the solid work of Senators Bob Corker and Mark Warner.
“This agreement reflects many objectives proposed by the Bipartisan Policy Center Housing Commission last year -- the gradual wind down of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; a greater role for private capital in assuming mortgage credit risk; a continued, but more limited, role for the federal government as the insurance backstop of last resort in the secondary market for mortgage-backed securities; and a commitment to ensuring access to safe and affordable mortgages for all borrowers in all geographic markets.
“We appreciate the very thoughtful and deliberate approach that Chairman Johnson and Ranking Member Crapo have brought to this complex subject. We look forward to reviewing their draft legislation and stand ready to assist in any way possible. The current government-dominated housing finance system is unsustainable. It is critical that Congress make housing finance reform a legislative priority this year.”