In an interview last week with FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin mentioned that profits of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may be used to fund non-housing federal programs.
However, HousingWire can now clarify, it is the question’s original wording that lead to some confusion.
From the Fox Business article by Matthew Wisner:
When Bartiromo asked about allegations that the Obama Administration took money from Fannie and Freddie to pay for the implementation of ObamaCare, Mnuchin responded, “It is true. They used the profits of Fannie and Freddie to pay for other parts of the government while they kept taxpayers at risk.”
This lead to widespread speculation, and helped backed up a popular claim on social media platform Twitter, that profits from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were used to specifically fund Obamacare.
When pressed by HousingWire for further explanation of Mnuchin’s statement, a U.S. Treasury spokesperson replied: "Secretary Mnuchin believes the dividend from the GSEs should be paid per the agreement as compensation for the government.”
“The Secretary clearly stated that the dividends were used to fund other parts of the government more broadly," the spokesperson added.
In the past, profits from Fannie and Freddie, which are passed over to the Treasury, were targeted for other projects, such as the funding of new roads.
As in this case, the money never got there.