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Washington
Tester seeks CU help to move housing reforms forward
WASHINGTON (2/26/14)--Noting that the economy "will not fully recover until we further rebuild our housing market," Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) on Tuesday encouraged credit unions to lobby for a bipartisan housing finance reform bill.
Click to view larger image Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) says data security reforms are needed to build a system that better protects consumers through clearer rules and shared responsibility. Tester spoke Tuesday at CUNA's 2014 Governmental Affairs Conference. (CUNA Photo)

The Senate Banking Committee member made his remarks at the morning session of the Credit Union National Association's 2014 Governmental Affairs Conference.

Tester is a co-sponsor of the Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act (S. 1217). That bill, introduced by Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), would wind down government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and replace them with a new mortgage guarantor.

Tester said he is still discussing the bill with Warner and Corker, and spoke Tuesday in favor of provisions that will help small financial institutions "stay in the game." He also called for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to be retained.

A Senate Banking Committee markup of housing finance reform legislation is reportedly coming soon, and Tester said "there is a real window of opportunity to get housing finance reform done."

The senator also said data security reforms are needed, and noted that the recent Target data breach caused credit unions more than $30 million in damages. "The bottom line is we need a system that protects consumers through shared responsibility and better, clearer rules of the road," he said.


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