Industry News

Bush re-election haunts Fannie and Freddie

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Mortgage heavyweights Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac likely face tougher oversight reform proposals over the coming year in light of President Bush's re-election and Republican gains in both houses of Congress, according to industry observers. Since the Freddie Mac accounting scandal rattled investors last year, Congressional members have crafted and discussed passing legislation to strengthen oversight of the housing government-sponsored enterprises, or GSEs. But Congress failed to pass any bills, slowed by lengthy debates on various details. The stalemate scenario may be changing. Observers believe the Bush administration is ready to aggressively pursue GSE reform and that with more Republicans now in Congress, it has the political muscle to make those changes. Reform proposals likely will be more comprehensive and higher priority than they've been in the past. "I think it's going to be the first bill out of the banking committee," said Jim Butera, partner with Butera & Andrews, a W...