Vote Explanation for H.R. 1694 — Fannie and Freddie Open Records Act of 2017
I voted in support of H.R. 1694, the Fannie and Freddie Open Records Act of 2017, which would subject Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
FOIA is an important transparency tool that gives you the right to access information from the federal government. Currently, all federal agencies are subject to FOIA, as well as Amtrak and the U.S. Postal Service.
Fannie and Freddie were chartered as government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) to promote homeownership by ensuring a reliable and affordable supply of mortgage funds throughout the country. The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which was created under the 2008 Housing and Economic Recovery Act, took control of the GSEs and the Treasury Department agreed to purchase their stock to keep them solvent in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
Since then, Fannie and Freddie have received a combined $187.5 billion in taxpayer support. Given that taxpayers remain exposed to potential financial risks as a result of the federal government’s conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, extending FOIA to these entities maximizes their accountability to the public.
This commonsense bill passed the House of Representatives unanimously, 425–0.