Craig Phillips, a top aide to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, said his department "broadly" agrees with the FHFA plan, which would return Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to the private market and provide them an explicit government guarantee.
FHFA Director Mel Watt said Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be reincorporated as private entities and the government must provide an explicit guarantee for catastrophic losses in the secondary mortgage market.
A regulatory relief package is likely to come out of the Senate in the new year, and lawmakers could follow it up with a housing finance reform push. But the midterm elections could cause some reform initiatives to grind to a halt.
The announcement Thursday that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt agreed to let Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac each build a $3 billion capital buffer avoided a potential crisis.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be allowed to build capital buffers to protect against losses under an agreement between the Treasury Department and the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced on Thursday.
The House Financial Services Committee passed 13 bills (and scrapped a vote on one) Wednesday, including one that would stop Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from being released by the government and another hailed as helping the underbanked in rural areas.