Baker proposes new housing regulator

April 5, 2005 at 9:07 PM

WASHINGTON, April 5 (UPI) -- Rep. Richard Baker, R-La., unveiled legislation Tuesday creating an independent regulator to oversee housing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The Financial Services Capital Markets Subcommittee Chairman's measure would replace the Department of House and Urban Development's Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight and the Federal Housing Finance Board.

The new agency would be given broad authority to reduce the mortgage portfolios of the government-sponsored enterprises and enforcement abilities that are similar to those of banking institutions.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., has said overhauling the regulatory structure overseeing the mortgage firms would be a top priority during 2005, although he has yet to produce his own measure or say when it will be presented.

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