House Financial Services Committee

Geithner Testimony on FSOC Report

On October 6, on behalf of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, Treasury Secretary Geithner testified before the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee, outlining the conclusions and recommendations made by FSOC in its first annual report, which was released in July. Geithner Testimony.

HFSC Approves Bill to Repeal Section 939G of Dodd-Frank Act

On July 20, the House Financial Services Committee approved H.R. 1539, the “Asset-Backed Market Stabilization Act of 2011”, to repeal Section 939G of the Dodd-Frank Act. The repeal of Section 939G would reinstate Rule 436(g) of the Securities Act under which NRSROs are excluded from being treated as experts subject to expert liability when credit ratings are included in registration statements under the Securities Act. HFSC Release. HFSC Act.

Housing Finance Reform: House Hearing and Administration Proposal

On February 9, the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing on GSE reform with a focus on immediate steps to protect taxpayers and end the bailout. On February 11, the Obama administration released a white paper on housing finance reform, outlining its plan to: (i) reduce government support for housing finance and wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on a responsible timeline; (ii) address fundamental flaws in the mortgage market to protect borrowers, ensure transparency, and increase the role of private capital; and (iii) target the government’s support for affordable housing in a more effective and transparent manner. The proposal also sets forth longer-term reform choices for structuring the government’s future role in the housing market. Congressional Hearing Link. Treasury Release. White Paper.  HFS Testimony and Archived Webcast.

Geithner Testimony on Housing Finance System Reform

On March 23, Treasury Secretary Geithner testified before the House Financial Services Committee regarding the future of the housing finance system. Geithner set forth the Administration’s objectives for a reformed system, which include: (i) widely available mortgage credit, (ii) housing affordability, (iii) consumer protection, and (iv) financial stability. Treasury and HUD will submit a list of questions by April 15 for public comment to seek recommendations and comments on: (a) the priorities for government housing policy, (b) the role of government in the housing finance system, (c) characteristics of mortgage products available to consumers, (d) best practices to ensure consumer protection, and (e) the most effective design for the housing finance system. Testimony.

Recent Legislative Developments

On December 2, the House Financial Services Committee completed work on the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 4173), which is intended to modernize financial regulations and address the causes of the economic crisis. The act will be considered by the House of Representatives next week. House Financial Services Committee Release. Bill Summary. H.R. 4173.