This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Bachus May Shake Up Housing Reform

WASHINGTON (TheStreet) -- Just as Congress prepares to take a close look at Fannie Mae (FNMA.OB) and Freddie Mac (FMCC.OB), some of the lawmakers closest to housing-finance policy are about to exit their positions.

Spencer Bachus, Republican of Alabama
Spencer Bachus, Republican of Alabama

Sen. Chris Dodd (D., Conn.), who heads the Senate Banking Committee, is retiring. His Senate seat will be filled by fellow Democrat Richard Blumenthal, while his chairman position will be taken over by Sen. Tim Johnson (D., S.D.), who has been groomed to succeed Dodd for months.

Perhaps more worrisome to Democrats is the House Financial Services Committee, whose current chairman, Rep. Barney Frank (D., Mass.), will no longer be in the majority. Democrats also lost an important member of the committee, Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D., Pa.), who was defeated by Republican Lou Barletta on Tuesday evening. Kanjorski is second-in-command under Frank and chairs the subcommittee that oversees Fannie and Freddie.

Frank's likely successor as chairman, Rep. Spencer Bachus (R., Ala.), has been a harsh critic of bailouts, stimulus programs, Democrats' reform proposals and housing-finance policy during his years as ranking member of the minority since 2006.

After his party's victory in the House, Bachus appeared on CNBC, saying he expects to take over the financial-services committee.

"We're going to have vigorous oversight," Bachus promised, adding that, under Democratic control, "we've had no oversight."

In recent months, Bachus has become a tough critic of Fannie and Freddie - pledging to shut them down, asking for investigations into their practices and railing against their continued receipt of taxpayer funds. Bachus also voted against the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, saying: "This is not real reform."

"We have seen the anger and frustration generated by the injustice of 'too big to fail' bailouts," Bachus said in a statement at the time. "We have seen the folly of implied guarantees as with Fannie and Freddie. We have seen time after time the failure of government-run schemes to create jobs and grow the real economy. Nevertheless, here the Majority party is again, doing the same thing over and over, blindly hoping that suddenly this time they'll get a different result."

Bachus seems sure to be a thorn in the side of Democrats if they hope to pass any kind of housing-finance reform in the next two years. The Obama administration plans to outline a strategy in January. From the discussions thus far, it seems unlikely that Democrats are keen on allowing the government to exit the mortgage market completely.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,079.57 -42.44 -0.25%
S&P 500 1,996.74 -3.38 -0.17%
NASDAQ 4,557.6950 -11.9260 -0.26%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs