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  • Guest Blogger: Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

    Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL)

    In the last week, the government-backed mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac asked the taxpayer for $19 billion to stay afloat.  Add that to the $127 billion in bailouts they have already received since September 2008, and we are now talking about a whopping $146 billion of your hard-earned tax dollars being used to prop up these failed entities.  In more than a year and a half we have heard nothing from the Administration about a plan to implement real reforms to stop the bleeding.  This Democratic Congress, in the midst of a debate on financial regulatory reform, is completely silent on the issue.

    Instead of showing leadership on this issue, the Democrat Majority in Congress has chosen to duck Fannie and Freddie reform, putting off hard decisions for later.  According to Senator Christopher Dodd, reform will have to wait until the “next wave” of legislation.

    The most substantive action we’ve seen from the Administration dealing with the mortgage finance giants was the little-noticed Christmas Eve decision to lift the limit on the amount of bailout money the Administration is willing to sink into these two.  As if $400 billion was not enough, the Administration lifted the limits on the same day they announced lucrative pay packages for the executives.  And now, as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are hemorrhaging taxpayer dollars, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said a plan that has been a long time in the making is still six months away, perhaps conveniently after November’s election.

    Rather than address an issue that will be fundamental to the recovery and long-term growth of the housing market, the Democrat Majority is keeping their head in the sand.  President Obama himself said in his inaugural address that “our time of standing pat, of…putting off unpleasant decisions – that time has surely passed.”

    Has it?

    Make no mistake: no true financial reform bill will be complete until it deals with reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and their $5.4 trillion in liabilities.  Republicans have been standing ready to work across the aisle on this issue, introducing a number of measures over the past 18 months that would phase out taxpayer subsidies and sunset their conservatorship.  I myself offered a simple, common-sense bill to ensure that, while they are under government control, compensation for their executives is no more than any member of our Armed Forces.  So long as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are effectively owned by the government, there is no reason any of their employees should be compensated more than the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

    With a massive national debt set to exceed $13 trillion this year, the American people can ill afford the Democrat Majority’s procrastination.  The point of financial reform legislation, and its great opportunity, is to address the fundamental problems that caused the economic collapse of 2008 and to protect the American taxpayer from this ever happening again.

    We can do better. We owe it to the American people to do better. True financial reforms means reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    The views expressed by guest bloggers on the Foundry do not necessarily reflect the views of the Heritage Foundation.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    19 Responses to Guest Blogger: Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

    1. Winghunter, CO says:

      Why the Mortgage Crisis Happened By M. Jay Wells from American Thinker

      The Real Culprits In This Meltdown IBD:

      The Real Scandal How Feds Invited The Mortgage Mess by Stan Liebowitz

      Gov’t Dems Caused Housing Crisis, Including Obama

      CRA, ACORN, Democrats, Obama and the Housing Market Crisis http://conservablogs.com/bluecollarmuse/2008/09/2

      Clinton administration's "BANK AFFIRMATIVE ACTION"

      Confiscation by consent decree – Department of Justice extorts money from financial institutions ( short video clip ) http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1282/is_n2

    2. Billie says:

      all "reforms' government purposes should be solely within government. they have no right to intervene in the private sector but for safety, hazards and equal human rights violations.

    3. James J Hoppman Dubu says:

      I have some understanding about fannie and freddie, but what about ginnie mae? I unerstand a little about ginnie mae it does not hold mortgage debt, but it sells bonds or is a pass through company. However, it is still back by taxpayers dollars. So why is ginnie mae not a liability for U.S. taxpayers. Please help me understand? Furthermore, ginnie mae sells packaged securities/bonds so why is this different than what some other finanicial institutions have sold?

    4. Pingback: PA Pundits - International

    5. P. Griffin, Indiana says:

      I like Representative Roskam's ideas and think it makes perfect sense to limit the salaries of Fannie and Freddy employees since they are now government (taxpayer) employees. Why should they be richly rewarded for ineptitude and expect us beleagured taxpayers to foot the bill?


    6. Frank Canzolino, Elm says:

      Here is the reason polls constantly show that Americans hate Congress but like their individual Congressman. Peter is my guy in Congress and is doing a hellava job representing us, and taxpayers all across America. I would like to see Peter nominated for VPOTUS in 2012, but would be VERY sad to see him leave Congress where he provides one of the best voices for reason in that dysfunctional body.

    7. charles r. mighton o says:

      What is the pay going pay scales for failures? I sure would like to know. Can congress get some the money back? If I had spend money in this mater my father would have taken me out behind the barn.

    8. Robert Lane, Auburn says:

      It is inconcievable that we can continue to allow these" charters" to remain the same for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

      How can we continue to demand that banks and leading instutions take federal funds and underwrite individuals that have no way to pay the money back.

      The economics of this series of events must change and go back from spend without thought to one of save and "ten percent of what you earn is yours to keep".

    9. Susan Morrison, Bata says:

      Peter Roskam is a great leader for Republicans and conservatives. I have heard him speak publicly on our national issues. He makes clear common sense especially in the fiscal area. I wish he was my congressman. I hope he chooses to run for Senate or some other national office in the future. Peter Roskam gives me hope that someone can serve their constituents and be a honorable politician. A rare combination especially in Illinois and specifically in the Chicago area.

    10. Drew Page, IL says:

      I agree wholeheartedly with Frank Canzolino of Elmhurst. Peter Roskam is my Congressman too and I appreciate the job he is doing for the conservatives in his district. I have kept track of the "letters to the editor" in our local papers and Peter has taken a lot of guff from those who support Obamacare and who think illegal immigration is a good thing.

      Living in Illinois, Republicans in general and conservatives in particular have absolutely NO representation in the U.S. Senate. Thanks to the Daley machine, the Democrats in Illinois have strangle hold on the Senate and much of the State.

      Peter is the only guy I can turn to in Washington and I thank him for his efforts. I contribute to his campaigns and vote for him whenever he comes up for election.

    11. rae sharfman west bl says:

      Fannie and Freddie are so corrupt, and have been for many many years, and nothing happens WHY?????How do they get away with maning donations to pooliticians with tax payer money?? How did Frank Raines walk away with 90 million and nothing happened???WHY DOES NOTHNG HAPPEN???

    12. saltboxpages, San Di says:

      These two entities are perfect examples of how government involvement solves absolutely nothing. While most of the banks hurt by the mortgage crash and received bailout money have repaid these monies with interest, here are two big players, who continue on the same maligned approach they were on before the crash. While Wall Street banks who received government bailouts are under full scrutiny when it comes to executive pay by the president's pay czar as well as the main stream media, the executives of Fannie and Freddie continue to lose huge amounts of money and yet get rewarded with huge salaries and bonuses. This is insane! Why aren't these two entities "too big to fail?" No more money to them until significant changes are made to get them back to making a profit, or at least break even.

    13. SAMUEL says:

      Why is frank raines and rangel not in jail. I lost half of my 401 due to the fannie and fred.

      I did not receive a free home, nor free car, nor free helath care.

      I want and need a government bailout. I worked all my life to have my saving disappear, due to fannie and fred.

    14. Rebecca C Graves says:

      The emperor has no clothes on. Why are we the American people afraid of the obvious truth?

      Why does the Joint Chief of Staff get a compensation for his job? I don't even understand that! So don't expect me to understand why executives of a government mortgage program receive tax payers money to do their job, which they did not do well, obviously.

      I taught my children to be good for nothing. To do good and be righteous because that is the right thing to do. Not because they expect money in rerward for good behavior…so why should anyone be given money for bad behavior?

    15. Karen, SLC, UT says:

      I would propose that while Freddie and Fannie are effectively owned by the government that paying any of their executives even salary equal to what a Joint Chief earns is excessive. A better idea would be to cap pay at the E-7 through E-9 grade. After all, who in the military actually makes things happen? The Navy Chiefs, the Marine Gunny Sergeants and Army Master Sergeants. When Freddie and Fannie executives are as successful as this grade of military personnel, we will be in much better shape.

    16. Jim Coggins, Seguin, says:

      Three words "VOTE THEM OUT".

      I know you think your guy is great but if they have been there for more than a few years THEY HAVE BEEN CORRUPTED. Don't fool yourself. We need to regain the government from the thieves and liars. They are no longer working in our best interest. If term limits were in place we would have the best managers in our country participating because they would know that they are doing good work for a short period and then going back to the real world, leaving it in the hands of equally capable people. Not lifetime politicians.

    17. ND from Tennessee says:

      Just a great article and so on target. I hope lots of people read this and put pressure on these politicians who drag their feet.

    18. Dean, Carol Stream, says:

      I am proud to be in the district that Peter is in, and he has been a great represenative for us. In the other house, Senators Burris and Dorbin could care less about the issues we all face proven by their latest vote going against the stronger languaged Bill to audit the Fed. I am so sick of all these bail outs and the corruption that continues to flood our government such as seen here at this link: http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/46267

      Regardless of which party they are from, it is time to completely clean house of all the corruption and get people who actually care about the Constitution, less government, less spending, and returning our Liberties to what they used to be.

      I doubt this will happen, but to see Ron Paul run with Peter Roskam in 2012 would be awesome to get our country back to the basics.

    19. Karen, SLC, UT says:

      Rebecca, Do I gather that you believe that the Joint Chiefs should not be compensated? If so, could you please elaborate? Thanks!

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