Fannie Mae has formed a political action committee so that the company can make direct contributions to congressional and presidential candidates who support its housing mission.The giant mortgage company, which enjoys favorable borrowing rates because of its government charter and other federal benefits, has not had a PAC since 1993. Fannie executives made individual contributions to candidates, but the corporation made soft-money contributions to political parties. The company decided to file a PAC registration statement with the Federal Election Commission because of recent changes in federal campaign finance laws, according to Fannie spokesman Chuck Greener. "The company's decision's to establish a PAC is consistent with the spirit of the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Report Act, which points to individual contributions and PACs as an appropriate way for companies and employees to be involved in the political process," Mr. Greener said. The Bush administration and key members of Congress are pushing for stronger regulatory oversight of Fannie and Freddie Mac, which the two companies are resisting. The two government-sponsored enterprises have not faced such a threat since 1992, when Congress created their safety-and-soundness supervisor -- the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight.

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