WASHINGTON, July 28 (UPI) -- White House efforts to trim the portfolios of mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac drew criticism from the Senate's top Democrat.
Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., introduced a measure now headed for a floor vote, to create an independent federal regulator with enhanced authority over Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Bank.
The measure is seen as a way to trim the portfolios of the entities, which have come under attack from Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan among others, as bloated.
"The legislation from the Senate banking committee, passed today on a party line vote by the Republican majority, includes measures that could cripple the ability of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to carry out their mission of expanding homeownership," said Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., the Senate Minority Leader Thursday.
"While I favor improving oversight by our federal housing regulators to ensure safety and soundness, we cannot pass legislation that could limit Americans from owning homes and potentially harm our economy in the process," Reid said.