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Republicans considering another 16 bills on GSE reform

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Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee are planning to submit another 16 bills for the reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) said during a House subcommittee hearing Tuesday that the bills would bolster the eight already being heard. The subcommittee is expected to clear the first eight for the full committee Tuesday afternoon. Nonetheless, investment bank Keefe, Bruyette & Woods doubts the strength of that proposed legislation. "We are considering another 16 bills," Bachus said, though he could not specify when the bills would be introduced. The original eight bills address issues such as executive compensation at the two firms, ending their affordable housing goals, capping their current portfolios and others. But Democrats on the subcommittee complained of the "piecemeal" approach to winding down the GSEs. "We want complete legislation that has input from both sides of the aisle and with input from the industry," said Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.). "We cannot undermine the economy with these piecemeal actions." Trade groups such as the National Association of Home Builders and the National Association of Realtors asked Congress last week to slow down on GSE reform and asked that lawmakers approach these issues with a uniform bill. Bachus became frustrated with Democrats he said had the chance to address the issue when Dodd-Frank was passed last summer. "The administration has been talking for about two years about doing something," Bachus said. "And we're at that task. I guess we're going to be criticized for anything we do, but we're moving forward." Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) also said there should be a uniform bill. The original eight he said don't address the most difficult part of the problem. "Getting rid of Fannie and Freddie is the easy part relatively," Frank said. "The question is what do you put in their place. And that's the problem with the bills." The original eight submitted by Republicans will not reach the full committee until May if they pass, Frank added. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.

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