Industry News

Fannie Mae lobbying spend grows

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Fannie Mae spent $10.1 million on lobbying last year, as Congress considered legislation to tighten oversight of the mortgage giant in response to its multibillion-dollar accounting scandals. According to records filed last week with Congress, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac remained among the most prolific corporate spenders on lobbying, despite controversy over their efforts to influence lawmakers. Freddie Mac spent $12.6 million on lobbying, according to the Web site PoliticalMoneyLine. The two companies are heavily regulated by Congress and chartered with a public mission of encouraging home ownership. Critics have argued that their lobbying has been too geared toward trying to avoid tighter regulation and toward benefiting stockholders. Both Fannie Mae and its fellow government-sponsored enterprise, Freddie Mac, have been rocked by accounting scandals. In December 2004, Fannie Mae replaced Franklin Raines, its chairman and CEO, who announced he was taking early retirement, and Fannie...