U.S. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) outlined his committee agenda for the 116th Congress with an emphasis on housing-finance reform and data security. The agenda also included capital markets, credit bureaus, fintech, and access to credit among its top policy priorities. In addition, Chairman Crapo noted that the Committee will:
- Continue to identify and move bipartisan legislative solutions that promote economic growth;
- Build a record for legislative action on the collection, use and protection of personally identifiable information by financial regulators and financial companies;
- Advance presidentially-appointed nominees;
- Ensure that federal agencies implement the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (EGRRCPA), Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA), and the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) and ensure they are consistent with congressional intent;
- On housing finance reform, Chairman Crapo’s outline would privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; non-depository private companies would be guarantors of mortgages securitized through a platform operated by Ginnie Mae. The Federal Housing Finance Agency would be governed by a bipartisan board of directors instead of a single director. The current affordable housing and duty-to-serve requirements would be replaced by a Market Access Fund to provide grants and loans to underserved communities. The White House said last week that it will work with Congress to develop a plan for housing-finance reform and will issue a framework “shortly.” ICBA will continue working with Congress and the administration to ensure housing-finance reform preserves community bank access to the secondary market, adequately capitalizes Fannie and Freddie, and minimizes disruptions to the housing-finance system.
- Other issues to be addressed will include establishing appropriate levels of taxpayer protection, preserving the 30-year fixed rate mortgage, increasing competition among mortgage guarantors and promoting access to affordable housing.