Discussing GSE Plan Concerning Housing Bill

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... the bulls this morning. right now 67.30 and 67.47, the bid/ask. >>> now a bill could end up including the white house plan to help mortgage lenders fannie mae and freddie mac, too, creating fear the housing bill could face further delays. steny hoyer is our special guest. he joins us from capitol hill. good to see you again. >> good morning. >> is this going to get through as it is as far as you can tell? >> we certainly hope so. when you say as it is, secretary paulson, chairman frank, chairman dodd are looking for some additions to the pending legislation but we are hopeful we can move this legislation and come to an agreement between the administration, the senate and the house so we could pass legislation maybe as early as thursday. >> yeah. the general read, though, is you tack on some sticky issues like we have in the past 48 hours. it's going to slow it down. you don't seem to be that pessimistic. >> i'm not pessimistic, however, because i believe there's a great deal of focus on both sides of the aisle in a bipartisan way that action to respond to the challenges that are confronting the financial markets generally and fannie mae and freddie mac in particular and particularly mortgage holders and individuals who are threatened with foreclosure. it's important for us to act and act quickly as we did with the stimulus package earlier this year. >> that was the model if one was looking for a quick passage, that would be the route you would want to go. >> yes. >> what to you, though, would be the most troublesome points? >> well, carl, i think some of the most troubling points are the exposure of the united states taxpayer but basically i believe that everybody understands that we've had had legislation pending now in some cases over a year. we passed gse, government-sponsored enterprises oversight for fannie mae and freddie mac over a year ago. unfortunately that language for some months but we are now moving. we understand that action is necessary in the near term, and while there will be concerns expressed by some that we're moving too quickly, i think to delay would undermine confidence and i think creating confidence is our major objective. >> do you expect any more clarity from the chairman bernanke maybe today when he speaks to the senate or tomorrow in front of the house financial services? >> i think there will be clarifications. when you say clarity, yes, i think he'll speak to this and as you know he and secretary paulson are working together. barney frank, the chairman of the financial services committee has been engaged over the weekend and discussing with secretary paulson and i believe federal chairman bernanke as to what steps are appropriate to take in this instance to create stability and competence in the mark place. >> congressman, do you think you could get a bill through that allowed the treasury to buy the equity in fannie? do you think you could get to passage of something like that? think people would go along because of the state of where we are right now? would you support that? is. >> well, i think that certainly that's one of of the proposals secretary paulson made to allow the federal government to purchase equity. of course if we purchase equity as you understand, we would be a preferred equity holder. we being the taxpayers of the united states which would mean that in the event and the unlikely event and certainly an event which we don't want to contemplate a failure, the taxpayer would be reimbursed first. so that the exposure to the taxpayer would be limited. >> there are some people that are just talking about with some of the activities that were -- it's a moral hazard question. if you're allowing the shareholders and actually having the government become a shareholder with an institution many people say over the years did engage in some risky behavior it makes no sense to keep throwing taxpayer money at it and i'm just wondering whether you think both sides of the aisle will go along with that particular provision. >> i don't know everybody will go along with it but there's a sense on both sides of the aisle that it is necessary again to take such actions be a as will bring stability and confidence to the marketplace particularly as it relates to fannie mae and freddie mac because if we do not, the losses incurred by literally millions and millions of people not only here but throughout the international community will be very, very substantial. >> a lot of people are coming up with plans. we just heard one that would strengthen fannie and freddie and the ability for these companies to operate but it might involve common shareholders being sacrificed. there are plans that are out there like that, and i guess the market will dictate what finally happens. that's not the end of fannie and freddie, just the end of what happened with bear stearns almost. >> i think in the final analysis that may be accurate. >> congressman, there's been a lot of criticism thrown around at congress as well for pushing fannie and freddie to open the gates, allow many, many ...