House Financial Services Committee chairman Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., on Monday said he is trying to forge a consensus on GSE reform legislation based on several bills already approved by a subcommittee.
Moreover, Bachus said he wants to secure the support of Democratic members before moving to a full committee markup. “If you pass a bill by one vote, it’s not going anywhere in the Senate," Rep Bachus told reporters at a conference sponsored by the Independent Community Bankers of America.
In early April, the House Capital Markets and GSE subcommittee approved eight separate bills to reform and downsize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Rep. Bachus said at least four of the bills garnered Democratic support, "which I think is a great start."
One bill (H.R. 1224) approved by a 34-0 vote would impose risk retention requirements on Fannie and Freddie and eliminate the GSE exemption in the regulators’ risk retention proposal.
Chairman Bachus also noted that Republicans agree with many of the proposals advanced by the Obama administration to downsize the GSEs and reform the housing financing system.
"The administration has joined us half way," Bachus said. "So I think there is a consensus."