May 20, 2008


WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, today announced that the Committee passed “The Federal Housing Finance Regulatory Reform Act of 2008,” legislation which includes major efforts to help prevent the rising number of foreclosures, to create more affordable housing for Americans, and to reform the regulation of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) in order to improve their role in the housing finance system.  The legislation passed by a vote of 19-2.  A summary of the Manager’s Amendment is attached.
“The passage of this bipartisan legislation marks tremendous progress in my ongoing effort to help stabilize our markets and provide relief to hundreds of thousands of Americans who, due to no fault of their own, are struggling to keep their homes,” said Dodd.  “By creating a voluntary initiative to help distressed borrowers refinance their mortgages; establishing a new fund that will help create more affordable housing for millions for Americans; and reforming the GSEs so they are better able to fulfill their mission of providing affordable housing options, this bill addresses the root of our current economic problems – the foreclosure crisis – and takes a step in the right direction toward getting our economy back on track.  I look forward to working with Senator Shelby, Majority Leader Reid and Republican Leader McConnell to bring this bipartisan legislation to the Senate floor.”
“I believe the Banking Committee today sent a strong message about the importance of protecting the American taxpayer,” said Shelby.  “This legislation adheres to that principle in creating a strong and flexible GSE regulator, and by ensuring that taxpayer dollars are not used to fund the Hope for Homeowners program.  Today’s action is evidence of the tremendous progress we can make when we work together.  I look forward to working with Chairman Dodd, leadership and the rest of my colleagues as this legislation moves forward.”
In addition to the comprehensive housing legislation, the Committee passed two additional pieces of legislation unanimously:
·         An original bill to make technical corrections to the transit programs authorized in SAFETEA-LU, the surface transportation legislation enacted in 2005. 
·         H.R. 634, which would require the secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of veterans who became disabled for life while serving in the Armed Forces of the United States.