Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What Happened To The Fannie/Freddie Reform Bill?

McCain supporters have been touting his cosponsorship of a 2005 bill that would have put tighter controls on failed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

McCain certainly had the right idea with the bill, whose main sponsor was Sen. Chuck Hagel, (R-Neb).

Sadly, that bill, the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, never passed. McCain supporters say Democrats killed the bill. You can see that meme repeated on dozens of blogs. But I'd like to see more evidence on this point.

Republicans controlled both houses at the time. They had 55 of 100 Senate seats, giving them a margin of 10 seats. And in the House, the GOP controlled 232 of 425 seats, a margin of 29. But the bill never saw the light of day.

So what happened to the legislation? Were any Republicans opposed to it? What part did Democrats play in its defeat? Did they threaten a filibuster? What was President Bush's view of the legislation? How much of a priority was the bill for McCain?

I'd like you, dear Swampers, to find out. Dig into the records. Use the habit of historians, and go back to contemporary accounts. News articles, blog posts, government records, etc, are great. These will have the advantage of being written at the time, closer to the events. And, they will not have been skewed by the partisan lens of this election.

I will post what you find.

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