Senate Banking today kicked off its two-part hearing on Chairman Crapo’s (R-ID) housing-finance reform outline. Senators agreed on the need finally to deal with decade-old conservatorships but took differing positions on how best to do so beyond a general consensus that the Administration should not simply “recap and release” the GSEs back into their pre-2008 “hybrid” structure. The Committee today was unable to come to agreement on whether a multi-guarantor system should require all guarantors to have a nationwide footprint, with Ranking Member Brown (D-OH) contending that a broad national market ensures equal access and cost. However, Sen. Toomey (R-PA) argued that a national requirement discourages potential entrants with specialized expertise (e.g., in rural areas).
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