The Treasury Department has given the GSE regulatory reform bill introduced by House Financial Services Committee chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., its seal of approval and it now looks like the House will easily pass the bill."On balance, this is a well-crafted bill," Treasury undersecretary Robert Steel said, that will "significantly improve the supervision" of the government-sponsored enterprises. In December, Rep. Frank and Treasury secretary Henry Paulson worked out a compromise on regulating the size and growth of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's portfolios and other key areas, such as GSE capital requirements. Treasury's endorsement shows that Rep. Frank faithfully incorporated those provisions into the bill. Meanwhile, a House Financial Services subcommittee hearing on the GSE bill (H.R. 1427) showed that industry groups generally support the bill and raised few objections. National Association of Realtors president Thomas Stevens said the bill does not "over-regulate" the GSEs at the March 12 hearing. Top executives from Fannie and Freddie are expected to testify before the full committee on March 15.

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