House passes bill to cap Fannie, Freddie CEO pay

Passed unanimously, next stop President’s desk

The U.S. House of Representatives officially passed legislation to cap the salaries of the Fannie Mae CEO Timothy Mayopoulos and Freddie Mac CEO Donald Layton on Monday night after being delayed two weeks by a busy Congressional calendar.

The House of Representatives was due to vote in late October on limiting the pay of the Fannie and Freddie CEOs, but that vote was delayed by a combined house budget vote, a vote on reopening the federal Export-Import Bank, and a vote on electing Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., as the new Speaker of the House.

According to the office of U.S. Representative Ed Royce, R- Calif., ”The House took up and passed the Senate version of the bill, and passed it tonight by voice vote, as no House member requested a roll call vote. Essentially, no Member was willing to go on record with their opposition to the bill.”

As a result, Royce’s office said, “Therefore, it’s accurate to say that the entire OC delegation supported the bill, or at the very least no one opposed it enough to request a recorded vote.”

The next step is for the bill to go to the President’s desk to be signed into law. Once signed, the salaries of each CEO will be capped at $600,000.

“The White House previously expressed support for keeping salaries for the CEOs of Fannie and Freddie capped, so it’s expected that President Obama will sign the bill into law soon,” Royce’s office said.

The bill is based on legislation authored by Rep. Royce. Monday’s scheduled House vote was on the Senate version of the GSE CEO pay limit bill, which was authored by Sen. David Vitter, R-La., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and passed unanimously in the Senate last month.

Earlier this year, Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt authorized the GSEs to propose new executive compensation plans for the position of CEO that may be as high as the 25th percentile of the market, or approximately $7.26 million a year.

But the raises for the GSE CEOs were met with a stern rebuke from Congress. Royce’s bill passed out of the House Financial Services Committee by a 57-1 vote on July 29, 2015.

The bill then received unanimous support in the Senate and passed through the House Monday night.

"While this is a victory for taxpayers, the real battle of winding down the GSEs and ending the government's domination of the housing market remains,” said Royce. "My ultimate goal is still comprehensive housing finance reform that brings private capital into the system to eliminate the boom-and-bust cycle that wreaked havoc on the American economy. This task takes on all the more urgency as Fannie and Freddie slip into the red and invite new taxpayer bailouts."

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