WASHINGTON — Senate leaders have included an extension of a temporary hike in guarantee fees charged by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in a package of revenue raising provisions to pay for a three-year extension of the Highway Trust Fund.
Although industry groups oppose the provision, it is unclear if they will succeed in trying to remove it. The Senate attempted to invoke cloture to start debate on the bill Tuesday, but that vote — which requires a 60-vote supermajority — failed 56 to 41.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is expected to request another cloture vote Wednesday. Back in December 2011, Congress hiked Fannie and Freddie G-fees by 10- basis points to pay for a temporary payroll tax cut. That 10-basis point hike is slated to expire October 2021. The highway funding bill would extend it through 2025.
The Mortgage Bankers Association and other industry groups oppose the use of g-fees for a highway construction. "It is bad for borrowers, it's bad for the housing market and it's bad for the economy," said MBA president and chief executive David Stevens.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency declined to comment on the provision.