What: All Issues : Housing : Preventing Bank Foreclosures on Homes : S 3217. (Overhaul of financial regulations) Dodd of Connecticut amendment that would require a study on ending direct federal control over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac/On agreeing to the amendment
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S 3217. (Overhaul of financial regulations) Dodd of Connecticut amendment that would require a study on ending direct federal control over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac/On agreeing to the amendment
senate Roll Call 139     May 11, 2010
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Progressive

This vote was on an amendment by Chris Dodd, D-Conn., that would require the Treasury Department to study the effects of ending Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s conservatorship.  Conservatorship is a legal term that refers to a situation where a business entity is under the control of some other entity, usually as a result of a court order.  In this case, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two government-sponsored enterprises, are under the direct control of the federal government as its conservator, as a result of the 2008 financial meltdown.  This was done because both of them were weighed down by so much debt that allowing them to default could have had even more disastrous consequences for the U.S. housing market.

The amendment was offered to a bill that aims to close gaps in financial regulations, strengthen oversight of consumer lending and more closely oversee certain kinds of exotic financial investments.

Dodd offered his amendment as an alternative to another amendment being offered by John McCain, R-Ariz., that would gradually bring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s conservatorships to a close (see vote 140). 

In the interest of time, Dodd did not speak in favor of his amendment because there were so many amendments to go through that day.

John Thune, R-S.D., criticized the study and said it’s better to go with the McCain amendment.

“The administration has said they need time to come up with a plan. The side-by-side that is going to be offered by the Democrats is going to be a study. We are going to study this for about 6 months. I think their argument is, it would be dangerous to rush the process. I think the contrary is true. I believe it is dangerous to ignore this problem any longer. We cannot afford to wait so more taxpayer money can be lost, can be wasted in trying to keep these two entities afloat,” Thune said.

By a vote of 63-36, the amendment was adopted.  All but one Democrat present voted for the amendment.  All but six Republicans present voted against the amendment. The end result is that the measure went forward with language ordering a study of ending Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s conservatorship.

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