DOLE HELPS INTRODUCE LEGISLATION TO BAN FANNIE, FREDDIE LOBBYING
Today U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole helped introduce legislation to impose a permanent ban on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's questionable lobbying practices, which played a significant role in the companies' recent collapse.
"For years, I've been calling for real, substantive oversight over Fannie and Freddie, only to have the companies dispatch an army of lobbyists to coax their Congressional sympathizers into turning a blind eye to their mismanagement," said Dole. "The results of that outrageous practice have been a crisis in the housing sector and a government takeover that puts the taxpayers on the hook for massive liabilities."
"This has gone on for too long, had far too devastating an impact and, clearly, we've got to put an end to it once and for all."
Specifically, the legislation, S. 3471, will prohibit Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from making lobbying expenditures, political donations and contributions to 501(c) organizations.
Additionally, Dole helped introduce legislation yesterday to deny the outgoing executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac multi-million dollar "golden parachutes" after their gross mismanagement and poor performance drove their companies into the ground.
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. Sunday, the Treasury Department used its new authority, and Fannie and Freddie are effectively under new leadership and have temporarily ceased lobbying activities, and their respective Foundations' assets are under review.