Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, released the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Presidential authority to remove Federal Housing Finance Agency Director, Mark Calabria.
“Today, the United States Supreme Court ruled that President Biden has the authority to fire Mark Calabria, Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). As the Trump-appointed FHFA Director, Mr. Calabria has been an ideologue, putting his own beliefs and shareholder priorities ahead of those of hardworking families seeking the dream of homeownership through fair and affordable mortgage lending. It is time for him to go.
“In November 2020, the American public made its voice heard, and President Biden has my full support as Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services in exerting his authority to remove Mr. Calabria immediately. During the current economic downturn, the American people need an FHFA Director who will make it their top priority to focus on pandemic response and equitable recovery efforts to keep families in their homes and expand equitable access to affordable credit.
“During his tenure as FHFA Director, Mr. Calabria followed the Trump administration’s lead in shrinking the federal role in the housing finance market. At the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Mr. Calabria took actions that restricted credit access, increased the cost of lending, and disproportionately locked lower-income borrowers and borrowers of color out of a mortgage market experiencing historically low interest rates. Indeed, preliminary analyses of 2020 data show that mortgage loans purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (“the Enterprises”) primarily served higher income, White borrowers in wealthier, Whiter communities.
“Most concerning of all has been Mr. Calabria’s relentless efforts to release the Enterprises from conservatorship during the pandemic. At the end of the Trump administration, Mr. Calabria worked with then-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to side-step Congress and fast-track their plans to end the conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. By finalizing a regulatory framework to increase Enterprise capital and making significant changes to the Senior Preferred Stock Purchase Agreements, Mr. Calabria and the previous administration fundamentally altered our nation’s housing finance system, threatening to push conventional lending options further out of reach for many credit-worthy borrowers and restrict multifamily liquidity for the development of affordable housing in the interest of shareholder profits. President Biden and his administration should work swiftly to reverse course, and I look forward to helping them in these efforts.”
On October 22, 2019, Chairwoman Waters gave the following statement at a full Committee hearing entitled “The End of Affordable Housing? A Review of the Trump Administration’s Plans to Change Housing Finance in America.”
On September 16, 2020, Chairwoman Waters gave the following statement at a full Committee hearing entitled “Prioritizing Fannie’s and Freddie’s Capital over America’s Homeowners and Renters? A Review of the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
On December 3, 2020, Chairwoman Waters issued the following statement on the FHFA Director’s efforts to release the GSEs from conservatorship.
On December 4, 2020, Chairwoman Waters sent a letter to then-President Elect Joseph R. Biden urging the removal of FHFA Director Mark Calabria.