Lobbying and donations by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Nets Results

The Center for Responsive Politics has an interesting piece up, “Help Is on the Way for Embattled Mortgage Buyers” by Lindsay Renick Mayer.

Freddie Mac has given so much money to federal candidates, parties and PACs, in fact, that the Center for Responsive Politics ranks it among the top 100 donors of all time. …Although Fannie Mae is not among the top 100 donors, it has given more in this election cycle than its counterpart–nearly $1 million…The companies have also poured money into lobbying efforts, often hiring family members and friends of lawmakers.

Former Congressman Jim Leach (R-IA), one of the liberal Republicans swept from office in 2006 had long criticized the two government sponsored enterprises, saying that they were not subject to the financial standards and tax burdens of their commercial counterparts that the taxpayers would be left holding the bag if they ran into trouble due to government’s guarantee to back them up. Now interim director of Harvard’s Institute of Politics (IOP) at the John F. Kennedy School of Government (he will be returning to Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School in September and Chairman of Common Cause, Leach issued a statement July 16, reounting

The legislated perks granted Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are of a multi-billion dollar yearly magnitude and the regulatory advantages they enjoy magnify the capacity of each to grow. It is no accident that no commercial companies in the past generation have had as muscular a lobbying operation on Capitol Hill. When, for instance, I once introduced a battery of constraining amendments, including a doubling of capital requirements, to legislation favorable to Fannie and Freddie, it took each less than 48 hours to orchestrate both parties’ leadership to weigh in against trimming their wings of privilege.

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