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ICBA Statement on House GSE Bill Markup

Washington, D.C. (May 25, 2005) - Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) President and CEO Camden R. Fine issued the following statement in response to the House Financial Services Committee's approval by a 65-5 vote of legislation to reform the housing Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs):

"We are pleased that Chairman Oxley and the House Financial Services Committee reported out a GSE reform bill that strengthens the oversight of the GSEs while maintaining the GSE status of the enterprises and recognizes the unique characteristics of the Federal Home Loan Bank System. We commend the committee for rejecting amendments that would have weakened the GSEs' ability to serve their partners and their mortgage customers, such as placing artificial and arbitrary limitations on the size of their portfolios.

"We also appreciate the committee's willingness to continue working on the 'bright line' provision which would ensure that products like the automated underwriting systems will continue to be made available to lenders. In addition, the committee should be commended for providing the GSEs flexibility to develop new products and programs without overly burdensome approval requirements. We look forward to working with Chairman Oxley, Rep. Frank, Chairman Baker and others, as this bill moves to the House floor."