H. R. 234
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
January 14, 2013
Ms. Kaptur introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Financial Services
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.
This Act may be cited as the
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
Investigative Commission Act
In this Act:
The term Commission means the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Investigative Commission established under section 3.
The term Fannie Mae means the Federal National Mortgage Corporation.
The term Freddie Mac means the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation.
There is established a commission to be
known as the
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Investigative
Duty of the Commission
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.
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:
The appropriate role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in expanding homeownership and the appropriate role in helping the housing market recover nationwide.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Such other matters that the Congress may place before the Commission.
Number and appointment
The Commission shall be composed of 8 members, appointed as follows:
Two members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Two members appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives.
Two members appointed by the majority leader of the Senate.
Two members appointed by the minority leader of the Senate.
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.
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.
Deadline for appointment
Members of the Commission shall be appointed not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act.
The Chairperson of the Commission shall be designated by the Speaker of the House of Representatives at the time of appointment.
Each member shall be appointed for the life of the Commission.
A vacancy on the Commission shall—
not affect the power of the remaining members to execute the duty of the Commission; and
be filled in the manner in which the original appointment was made.
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.
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.
The Commission shall meet at least quarterly.
In addition to quarterly meetings, the Commission shall meet at the call of the Chairperson or a majority of its members.
Five members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum, but a lesser number may hold hearings.
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.
Director and Staff of Commission; Experts and Consultants
The Commission shall have a Director who shall be appointed by the Chairperson with the approval of the Commission.
The Director shall have experience in the areas of banking, securities and finance regulation, consumer advocacy and fair housing programs, and the mortgage industry.
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.
With the approval of the Chairperson, the Director may appoint and fix the pay of additional qualified personnel as the Director considers appropriate.
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.
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.
Powers of Commission
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Information from Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and the FHFA
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.
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.
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.
Authorization of appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated to the Commission such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 2013 to carry out this Act .
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.