Senator Corker Introduces “Jumpstart GSE Reform Act”

Thursday, March 14, 2013

In an effort to spur substantive and structural housing finance reform, Senators Bob Corker, R-Tn., Mark Warner, D-Va., David Vitter, R-La., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Ma., all members of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs committee, on Thursday introduced the “Jumpstart GSE Reform Act.” 

The legislation would prohibit any increase in the guarantee fee – which is required to be charged by government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – from offsetting other government spending. Additionally, the bill would prohibit the sale of preferred shares without congressional approval and structural housing finance reform. The preferred shares were purchased by the U.S. Treasury Department during the 2008 financial crisis and are within Treasury’s discretion to sell or otherwise dispose of. Any premature actions outside of structural reform will only build obstacles to a new housing finance system.

“The reality is that if Congress were to spend ‘g’fee’ revenue from the GSEs on other programs, reforming these mortgage behemoths would become nearly impossible. At the same time, 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. Neither of these is an acceptable outcome, so I’m very happy that Senators Warner, Vitter and Warren have joined me in this effort, and I hope Congress will take the necessary steps to ensure housing finance reform can happen as soon as possible,” said Senator Corker.

“We know our housing finance system is not sustainable in its current form, and this legislation will keep us on a path to accomplish real reforms. We believe that as we transition Fannie and Freddie out of their present roles, we need to think about the system in its entirety. 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. I look forward to working with Senator Corker and Senators Vitter and Warren on these important reform issues,” said Senator Warner.

“Reforming a broken housing finance system and protecting taxpayers is a win win, and we can begin that effort with this bipartisan GSE reform proposal. This bill shows that Republicans and Democrats do agree on the urgency required to reform the mortgage finance system. Reform can’t happen if the U.S. Treasury pulls a fast one on taxpayers by selling their preferred share investment but our bill will ensure the taxpayers will get the reform they were promised in 2008,” said Senator Vitter.

“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.  I am pleased to have the opportunity to work with Senators Corker, Warner, and Vitter, and I look forward to collaborating with them and other Senators in the months ahead on this important issue,” said Senator Warren.

 


Planning Commission Recommends Approval for 4-Story St. Elmo Commercial/Residential Building

The Planning Commission on Monday afternoon approved a four-story commercial/residential project near the Incline Railway in St. Elmo. A number of residents of the historic suburb had expressed concern about the height of the building near Mojo Burrito on Old Mountain Road. Paul Teruya, a developer from the Southside, said he had held several meetings with neighbors and ... (click for more)

Real Estate Transfers For April 3-9

NOTICE: The Hamilton County Register’s Office did not publish this data. All information in the Register’s Office is public information as set out in T.C.A. 10-7-503. For questions regarding this report, please call Chattanoogan.com at 423 266-2325. GI numbers, listed when street addresses are not available, refer to the location of transactions (book number and page number) ... (click for more)

Bus Driver Will Not Face Charges In Tragic Bus Accident

Sergeant Tommy Sturdivan announced in a Friday afternoon press conference that the investigation into the death of six-year-old Zackery Bryant at Chattanooga Valley Elementary has been officially declared complete and that there will be no criminal charges. Zackery died tragically on Monday morning after being hit by a school bus after stepping off. According to Sgt. Sturdivan, ... (click for more)

Soddy Daisy May Begin Effort To Allow Wine In Grocery Stores; Concussion Forms Required For Sporting Events; WWTA Chided For Causing Potholes

The Soddy-Daisy Commission is considering taking steps to allow wine in grocery stores now that Tennessee state lawmakers have voted to lift restrictions. To have the law appear on the next ballot for a vote, Mayor Janice Cagle said a petition with an amount of signatures totaling 10 percent of the number of voters in the last general election will have to be collected. Commissioner ... (click for more)

State Moving Forward In Educational Improvements

The State Collaborative on Reforming Education released the following statement from President and CEO Jamie Woodson regarding the 2014 legislative session in Tennessee and HB1549/SB1835, which passed the General Assembly Thursday: After a year of extensive public and legislative conversation regarding higher academic standards and related strategies to improve student learning, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Some Really Funny Tweets

I am not on Twitter so I don’t tweet. Difficulties with my right hand don’t even allow me to text and when you blend in the fact I am now a bonafide senior citizen, it is ample reason for me to live a life where I am lacking in what otherwise might be achieved through social networking. Twitter has done real well without me. It is one of the 10 most visited websites in the world; ... (click for more)