On a Positive Note

House Committee on Financial Services chair Barney Frank’s plan to include provisions for an Affordable Housing Fund in the House version of regulatory reform legislation governing Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks drew an epistolary response from the committee’s ranking Republican, Spencer Bachus, that was high on sensibility but low on sense. Bachus, who has repeatedly questioned the need for the fund, informed Frank in a letter that, “I respect your view” but “do not share it.” His reasoning? The housing program would be “in essence, a tax” on low- and middle-income homeowners. Frank was unmoved by Bachus’s illogic, but said he appreciated the note’s “cordial tone.”

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