CQ Daily reported on January 15 that Representative Ed Royce (R-CA) intends to reintroduce his bill to prohibit Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from making payments to the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) and Capital Magnet Fund (CMF) as long as the two companies remain in conservatorship.
His previous bill, H.R. 3901“The Pay Back the Taxpayers Act,” was introduced on January 16, 2014 with 21 co-sponsors (see Memo, 2/21/2014), while the requirement that the funds be allocated was still suspended.
Although that bill did not advance in the last Congress, Mr. Royce and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling both have expressed unhappiness with the decision by Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt to lift the suspension and direct the companies to begin making payments in early 2016 (see Memo, 12/15/2014). When Mr. Royce introduces his new bill, it is likely to be taken up this year.
Representative Royce also authored an amendment to the FY15 THUD Appropriations Bill that was adopted on the floor of the House last summer that would have prohibited HUD from using any funds to administer the NHTF (see Memo, 6/13/2014). That amendment was not included in the final FY15 Omnibus Appropriations bill passed by the lame duck Congress in 2014 (see Memo, 12/15/2014.)
To counter this opposition to the NHTF and CMF, advocates are urged to ask their Representatives to sign the letter that Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) is circulating to thank Mr. Watt for making possible the first funding for NHTF. The deadline for signing the letter is January 22. Members of Congress can sign the letter by contacting Carol Wayman with Mr. Ellison at email@example.com.
The Ellison letter is at http://nlihc.org/sites/default/files/Dear-Colleague-Letter_FHFA-Director-Watt.pdf