WASHINGTON -- Congress should not respond to the problems of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac so strongly that those corporations would have less money to buy mortgages from credit unions, NAFCU told the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee.
The trade association expressed concern that the financial difficulties of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac might prompt lawmakers to increase the companies' minimum capital levels or impose caps on the growth of their portfolios.
Any changes in the capital levels "should be made cautiously and should be detached from political decisions,'' NAFCU Senior Vice President for Government Affairs B. Dan Berger wrote in a letter sent May 6 to Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) and ranking member Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).
Both currently hold combined capital of $83 billion but have considerable debt. Last week, Fannie Mae announced a $2.2 billion loss for the first quarter.
The Senate panel is expected to begin consideration in the next few weeks of legislation revamping the oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are government-sponsored private corporations.
Last May, the House passed a measure that would create an independent regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, an idea that Berger endorsed in his letter to the senators.
Without an independent regulator outside the purview of the political and appropriations process these entities "will from time to time find themselves unintentionally pulled in different directions by well-intended regulators,'' Berger wrote.