Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

August 15, 2013

Hensarling: 'I want to end a system in which Cherokee County citizens have to insure the mortgages of millionaires.'

Ben Tinsley
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — As expected, U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling spent the noon lunch hour Wednesday briefing local Rotarians about the bill he and House Republicans recently filed to shut down mortgage guarantee giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Speaking to over 30 members of the local Rotary club during a special lunch at The Woods,  Hensarling, R-Texas, said his bill was designed to drastically reduce the government's involvement in the mortgage finance system.

The fifth District U.S. Representative said Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac inflated the market before the housing crash – while also contributing greatly to the boom-bust cycle.

Bottom line: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ultimately drifted far, far away from their intended purpose.

“Today, with taxpayer money, they are insuring the mortgages of millionaires,” Hensarling said. “ … I want to end a system in which Cherokee County citizens have to insure the mortgages of millionaires.”

He said his proposed bill benefits consumers while also creating competition and innovation in the private sector and probably giving borrowers more choices. Analysts believe Hensarling's bill might even privatize the mortgage market.

Hensarling's bill recently cleared his committee without any Democratic votes and is expected to get a House vote in the next few months.

During a brief question and answer session after his remarks, the fiscal conservative described the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as “Obamacare,” as the worst federal statute of its kind – one that Hensarling desperately wishes he could somehow reverse.