Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., is preparing to conduct a committee mark-up of a bill to strengthen the regulation of the housing government-sponsored enterprises on March 30 or 31, according to a committee spokesman.The bill is expected to give the new GSE regulator the authority to place Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac in receivership if either one gets into serious financial trouble and to provide the regulator with the discretion to raise minimum capital requirements. Both provisions are controversial, and the National Association of Home Builders is complaining that receivership powers could reduce investor demand for Fannie and Freddie corporate debt, which would increase the availability and cost of mortgage money. Meanwhile, the Mortgage Bankers Association is trying to get language in the bill ensuring that new GSE products or activities approved by the new regulator do not compete with primary-market lenders. One source said Chairman Shelby wants the committee to pass the GSE bill by a 19-2 vote.

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