Even though the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight says it likes many aspects of pending GSE legislation, the agency is still refusing to comment on a final bill's main sticking point -- the ability of a regulator to shrink the massive portfolios of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.At a speech Tuesday before the American Land Title Association, OFHEO General Counsel Alfred Pollard said the agency is "not taking a position" on portfolio caps for the housing government-sponsored enterprises. Asked afterward by MortgageWire if he could discuss the issue, he declined. The Treasury and the White House want Fannie's and Freddie's combined portfolios reduced to as little as $200 billion from their current size of $1.4 trillion. Though Mr. Pollard would not talk about portfolio caps, he said he favors other pieces of the House and Senate bills, including taking the agency out of the appropriations process and merging it with the Federal Housing Finance Board. In November, acting OFHEO Director Stephen Blumenthal found himself in hot water with the White House after stating in a speech that Fannie and Freddie manage their massive portfolios well in regard to credit risk. His comments were interpreted by the White House as being against portfolio limits. Supporters of OFHEO said Mr. Blumenthal's comments in that speech -- made before The Bond Market Association -- were misconstrued.

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