DOLE RESPONDS TO TREASURY ACTION ON FANNIE, FREDDIE
For years, Dole has pushed for strong oversight of housing giants to protect taxpayers and economy
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole, a long-time proponent of improving oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, today made the following statement about the Treasury Department's placing Fannie and Freddie under conservatorship:
"For years, while many in Congress have looked the other way, I have repeatedly expressed outrage about the improper dealings at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - including their accounting irregularities, excessive executive salaries and intense lobbying activities costing millions of dollars.
"Since arriving in the Senate, I have rebuffed pressure from those doing Fannie and Freddie's bidding, including their protectors in Congress. I have worked to shed light on the enormous risk these entities pose to the American taxpayers and the overall economy.
"Unfortunately, the Treasury Department has now been forced to take aggressive action to try to return confidence and stability to the domestic and international mortgage markets. In the Senate Banking Committee, we will be closely reviewing these actions, and I will continue my strongest efforts to protect the taxpayers as this process moves forward."
In 2003, after it was revealed that Freddie Mac had misstated its earnings, Dole helped introduce legislation to strengthen oversight of the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs). Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac responded in full force, dispatching an army of lobbyists to Capitol Hill to oppose the bill. In 2004, their lobbying tab totaled $26 million, and in 2005, it exceeded $24 million.
Dole helped reintroduce the GSE reform bill in the 109th Congress, and in July 2005 it was approved by the Senate Banking Committee but never considered by the full Senate. In the 110th Congress, Dole reintroduced the bill again with Sens. Chuck Hagel, Mel Martinez and John Sununu.
In response to the housing and mortgage crisis, Congress approved and the President signed into law in July 2008 a housing bill that created a stronger GSE regulator and provided the Treasury Department the authority to place Fannie and Freddie under conservatorship. As a result of yesterday's action, Fannie and Freddie are immediately under new leadership and have ceased lobbying activities, and their respective Foundations' assets are under review.