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Congressmen ask for more funds for Fannie regulator

Money crucial to federal agency carrying out investigations

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House Financial Services Chairman Michael G. Oxley (R-Ohio) and Ranking Minority Member Barney Frank (D-Mass.) have urged Congress to support higher 2005 funding levels for the federal regulator in charge of overseeing mortgage corporations Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. In a letter to the House Appropriations Committee, the Congressmen asked for $59.2 million for the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight for 2005. OFHEO's funding level was $39.9 million in 2004. "OFHEO is in the middle of a special examination of Fannie Mae and deserves financial support as it continues its important oversight work," Oxley said. "I'm concerned that the funding level is inadequate." OFHEO last week released a report, revealing that in past years, Fannie Mae had used improper "cookie jar" reserve accounting – setting aside large cash reserves to reduce revenues in some years so they can be used in other years when the company needs them. The agency this week announced a plan to add mor...