U.S. Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, today joined with two other members of the committee, Christopher Shays, R-Conn., and John Mica, R-Fla., to request a hearing on the role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the current financial crisis.
The three requested that Chairman Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., hold the hearing soon and that it include Franklin Raines, former CEO of Fannie Mae, who reportedly received a severance package of more than $100 million when he left the troubled organization.
Fannie and Freddie have been the subject of several hearings over the years in Congress, but Chairman Waxman so far has refused to hold hearings on them now.
"We find this curious," said Davis. "Everything you hear about why we had to spend $700 billion to bail out our economy comes back to Fannie and Freddie in one way or another. They seem to be at the epicenter of the crisis, and yet the chairman continues to focus on issues, such as executive compensation, that generate headlines but neither get to the root of the problem nor move us any closer to a solution. We'd hate to think the millions of dollars Fannie and Freddie executives contributed to Democratic congressional candidates also contributed to the reluctance to investigate this aspect of the crisis."
We need to improve the oversight of our financial markets and Fannie and Freddie are logical places to start," said Shays. "We need to learn why Fannie and Freddie failed, what Congress could have done to prevent it and why more in Congress did not want to act to do so sooner. I've worked on a bipartisan basis since 2002 to bring Fannie and Freddie under the same regulations as other publicly traded companies, and this investigation is essential."
Said Mica: "Having the Congress investigate the financial crisis without investigating Fannie Mae is like investigating the Great Train Robbery and only questioning the dining car attendant."