Outgoing Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Barney Frank said there was nothing more he could have done to prevent Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from making loans that could not be paid back.
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“I was not in charge of anything until 2007. In 2004, with regard to subprime loans, I was slow to see the crisis,” Frank said in response to a question from The Daily Caller during a press conference on his retirement at the Capitol Tuesday.
“At first, I thought it was just subprime and in 2004 and 2005, following the lead of my two North Carolina colleagues, Mel Watt and Brad Miller, we tried to get legislation through to stop the bad subprime mortgages. This notion that the Democrats were pushing these loans is absolutely backwards. George Bush in 2004 ordered Fannie and Freddie to do more lending to lower income people and I objected. I wanted to do more rental housing. I wanted to push Fannie and Freddie into more rental housing but at any rate, the Republicans blocked that.
“In 2007 is when I became chairman and the first thing I did when I became chairman, literally the first thing, was to begin the process of adopting the bill on Fannie and Freddie…So, you said, could I have done more? No.”
Republican Rep. Mike Oxley of Ohio was Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee from 2001-2007.