H.R. 2093 (112th): Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Investigative Commission Act

112th Congress, 2011–2013. Text as of Jun 02, 2011 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

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112th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 2093

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

June 2, 2011

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Financial Services

A BILL

To establish the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Investigative Commission to investigate the policies and practices engaged in by officers and directors at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac responsible for making the decisions that led to the enterprises’ financial instability and the subsequent Federal conservatorship of such enterprises.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Investigative Commission Act.

2.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

The term Commission means the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Investigative Commission established under section 3.

(2)

The term Fannie Mae means the Federal National Mortgage Corporation.

(3)

The term Freddie Mac means the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation.

3.

Establishment

There is established a commission to be known as the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Investigative Commission.

4.

Duty of the Commission

(a)

In general

The Commission shall investigate, determine, and make recommendations to Congress with respect to the policies, practices, and board decisions of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac subsequent to the actions of the Resolution Trust Corporation during the late 1980s and from the 1990s through the present that led to the enterprises’ financial instability and the subsequent Federal conservatorship of such enterprises.

(b)

Specific topics

In carrying out its duty under subsection (a), the Commission shall address and analyze, by year, beginning in 1990 and through the present, the following:

(1)

The appropriate role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in expanding homeownership and the appropriate role in helping the housing market recover nationwide.

(2)

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s involvement, if any, in the development of faulty risk standards and accounting practices and the creation and proliferation of the securitized mortgage instrument, and how such instrument affected the solvency of such enterprises.

(3)

The role of the boards of directors of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in developing and voting for the investment, accounting, and contracting policies of such enterprises, particularly as they relate to risk assessments, subprime mortgages, and the international securitization of mortgages.

(4)

Any board members, working committees, or executive officers responsible for making the decisions to adapt or change risk assessments or grow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s portfolios of subprime mortgage loans, a summary of actual board votes on the same, and the process that led to such decisions.

(5)

The decisions of the boards or executive officers of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that contributed or may have contributed to the overvaluation of risky mortgage investments in the stock market and, later, to the growth of the subprime mortgage industry.

(6)

The annual compensation, including all forms of compensation, stock options, and other financial benefits accrued to each of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's executive officers and members of the boards of directors.

(7)

Such other matters that the Congress may place before the Commission.

5.

Membership

(a)

Number and appointment

(1)

In general

The Commission shall be composed of 8 members, appointed as follows:

(A)

Two members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

(B)

Two members appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives.

(C)

Two members appointed by the majority leader of the Senate.

(D)

Two members appointed by the minority leader of the Senate.

(2)

Qualifications

Members of the Commission shall be individuals who are of recognized standing and distinction in the areas of banking, securities and finance regulation, consumer advocacy and fair housing programs, and the mortgage industry.

(3)

Conflict of interest

Members of the Commission shall not have a conflict of interest that is relevant to any matter the Commission is required to investigate under section 4.

(4)

Deadline for appointment

Members of the Commission shall be appointed not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act.

(5)

Chairperson

The Chairperson of the Commission shall be designated by the Speaker of the House of Representatives at the time of appointment.

(b)

Terms

(1)

In general

Each member shall be appointed for the life of the Commission.

(2)

Vacancies

A vacancy on the Commission shall—

(A)

not affect the power of the remaining members to execute the duty of the Commission; and

(B)

be filled in the manner in which the original appointment was made.

(c)

Compensation

(1)

Rates of Pay; Travel Expenses

Each member shall serve without pay, except that each member shall receive travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in accordance with applicable provisions under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code.

(2)

Prohibition of Compensation of Federal Employees

Notwithstanding paragraph (1), any member of the Commission who is a full-time officer or employee of the United States may not receive additional pay, allowances, or benefits because of service on the Commission.

(d)

Meeting requirements

(1)

Frequency

(A)

Quarterly meetings

The Commission shall meet at least quarterly.

(B)

Additional meetings

In addition to quarterly meetings, the Commission shall meet at the call of the Chairperson or a majority of its members.

(2)

Quorum

Five members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum, but a lesser number may hold hearings.

(3)

Meeting by telephone or other appropriate technology

Members of the Commission are permitted to meet using telephones or other suitable telecommunications technologies provided that all members of the Commission can fully communicate with all other members simultaneously.

6.

Director and Staff of Commission; Experts and Consultants

(a)

Director

(1)

Appointment

The Commission shall have a Director who shall be appointed by the Chairperson with the approval of the Commission.

(2)

Credentials

The Director shall have experience in the areas of banking, securities and finance regulation, consumer advocacy and fair housing programs, and the mortgage industry.

(3)

Salary

The Director shall be paid at a rate determined by the Chairperson with the approval of the Commission, except that such rate may not exceed the rate of basic pay for GS–15 of the General Schedule.

(b)

Staff

With the approval of the Chairperson, the Director may appoint and fix the pay of additional qualified personnel as the Director considers appropriate.

(c)

Experts and consultants

With the approval of the Commission, the Director may procure temporary and intermittent services under section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code, but at rates for individuals not to exceed the daily equivalent of the maximum annual rate of basic pay for GS–15 of the General Schedule.

(d)

Staff of Federal Agencies

Upon request of the Commission, Chairperson, or Director, the head of any Federal department or agency may detail, on a nonreimbursable basis, any of the personnel of that department or agency to the Commission to assist the Commission in carrying out its duty under this Act.

7.

Powers of Commission

(a)

Hearings and sessions

The Commission may, for the purposes of carrying out this Act, hold hearings, sit and act at such times and such places, take testimony, and receive evidence as the Commission considers appropriate.

(b)

Subpoena power

(1)

In general

The Commission may issue a subpoena to require the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of evidence relating to any matter under investigation by the Commission.

(2)

Issuance and signature

Subpoenas issued under paragraph (1) shall bear the signature of the Chairperson of the Commission and shall be served by any person or class of persons designated by the Chairperson for that purpose.

(3)

Enforcement

If a person refuses to obey a subpoena issued under paragraph (1), the Commission may apply to a United States district court for an order requiring that person to appear before the Commission to give testimony, produce evidence, or both, relating to the matter under investigation. The application may be made within the judicial district where the hearing is conducted or where that person is found, resides, or transacts business. Any failure to obey the order of the court may be punished by the court as civil contempt.

(c)

Powers of Members and agents

Any member or agent of the Commission may, if authorized by the Commission, take any action which the Commission is authorized to take under this Act.

(d)

Obtaining official data

The Commission may secure directly from any department or agency of the United States information necessary to enable it to carry out its duty under this Act. Upon request of the Chairperson, the head of that department or agency shall furnish that information to the Commission.

(e)

Physical facilities and equipment

The Architect of the Capitol, in consultation with the appropriate entities in the legislative branch, shall locate and provide suitable facilities and equipment for the operation of the Commission on a nonreimbursable basis.

(f)

Administrative support services

Upon request of the Commission, the Architect of the Capitol and the Administrator of the General Services shall provide to the Commission on a nonreimbursable basis such administrative support services as the Commission may request in order for the Commission to carry out its duty under this Act.

(g)

Bylaws, rules, and regulations

The Commission may adopt, amend, and repeal bylaws, rules, and regulations governing the conduct of its business and the performance of its duties.

(h)

Commission Records

The Commission shall keep accurate and complete records of its doings and transactions which shall be made available for public inspection, and for the purpose of audit and examination by the Comptroller General or his designee.

8.

Information from Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and the FHFA

(a)

Enterprises

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shall provide full and prompt access to the Commission to any books, records, and other information requested for the purposes of carrying out its duty under this Act.

(b)

FHFA

Upon request of the Commission, the Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency shall provide access to any information necessary to assist the Commission in carrying out its duty under this Act.

9.

Report

Not later than 12 months after the date on which all initial members are appointed, the Commission shall submit to Congress a final report containing a detailed statement of the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the Commission.

10.

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Commission such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 2011 to carry out this Act.

11.

Termination

The Commission shall terminate following the submission and presentation of its final report and recommendations under section 9, but not later than 30 days after such submission and presentation.