Senator Proposes Raising GSEs’ Guarantee Fees

After Republicans last week rejected two attempts by Democrats to extend the payroll tax cut, the chairman of the Joint Economic Committee offered revised legislation Monday that proposes to offset the costs of an extension by raising the guarantee fees that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac charge lenders.

The revised compromise bill attempts to bring Republicans aboard on the tax cut extension by trimming the cost of the package by roughly one-third through the adoption of several bipartisan measures, according to a statement put out by the committee's chairman, Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa.

According to Casey's office, the proposal would include an increase in the government-sponsored enterprises' guarantee fees in an amount to be determined by the GSEs' director. The amount would not be less than the average increase of 12.5 basis points for each origination year or book year above the average fee imposed this year for such guarantees. These reforms alone would raise $38.1 billion, according to Casey.

"As the clock continues to tick down, it is imperative that we come together now on a middle-income tax cut," Casey said in a statemtn. "The legislation is fully paid for and includes measures that have received bipartisan support in the past."

According to multiple media reports, the bill was not well received by Republicans.

‘This was not a compromise,’ Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., said Tuesday. ‘This was nothing more than a bill designed to fail so Democrats can have another week of fun and games on the Senate floor.’

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