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ICBA Statement on House Passage of GSE Reform Legislation

Washington, D.C. (May 22, 2007)—Camden R. Fine, president and CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), issued the following statement after House passage of the Federal Housing Finance Reform Act of 2007 (H.R. 1427) by a 313-104 vote:

"ICBA commends the House of Representatives for passing this important legislation that will combine and strengthen the regulatory oversight of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks. These government-sponsored enterprises are vital to the nation's community banks and housing and mortgage markets. They play an important role in helping community banks provide credit and innovative products to their mortgage customers. Additionally, the FHLBs provide community banks liquidity and long-term funding for home, small business and small farm loans.

"H.R. 1427 will also enhance the Federal Home Loan Banks' Community Financial Institutions programs, provisions ICBA promoted. The bill makes the CFI programs part of the FHLBanks' mission and increases the size of community banks eligible to participate to $1 billion.

"ICBA was pleased that the House passed the Bean/Neugebauer amendment to clarify that the new regulator's authority over the portfolios of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should focus on the risk to the enterprises themselves. The amendment passed on a strong 383-36 vote.

"ICBA will continue to work with Congress to improve the legislation as it advances. In particular, we will work to ensure that the Doolittle amendment-requiring mortgages acquired or used as collateral by a GSE include a Social Security number-does not reduce the ability of community banks to provide home loans to their customers.

"ICBA believes providing a strong, bank-like regulator for the GSEs is vital to their continued safety and soundness."