New U.S. Senate bill seeks to keep lawmakers’ hands off Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

March 15, 2013 11:00AM

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is looking to keep their colleagues from using Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to balance the federal budget, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Sens. Bob Corker,  Mark Warner, David Vitter and Elizabeth Warren have introduced a bill called the “Jumpstart GSE Reform Act,” which would prevent Congress from using increases in fees charged by Fannie and Freddie to bankroll spending increases or tax cuts.

Warren, of Massachusetts, and Warner, of Virginia, are Democrats. Corker and Vitter — from Tennessee and Lousiana, respectively — are Republicans.

“This bill shows that Republicans and Democrats do agree on the urgency required to reform the mortgage finance system,” Vitter said in a statement.

The measure also would prevent the Obama administration from selling off shares in the now government-backed lending giants without congressional approval.

Many analysts, however, are skeptical that the White House would sell off shares in Fannie and Freddie, despite its public statements that Freddie and Fannie should eventually not be controlled by the government. [WSJ]Christopher Cameron