Financial Services Week Ahead Jan 26 -30

US House of Representatives:


House Financial Services Committee: 


Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at 10:00 am in 2175 Rayburn HOB.  Hearing entitled “Sustainable Housing Finance: An Update from the Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.”


Witness List

  • The Honorable Melvin L. Watt, Director, Federal Housing Finance Agency




The hearing was previously schedule in November and is now the House Financial Services Committee first hearing of the 114th Congress. Chairman Hensarling has voiced his concerns with FHFA recent actions where it notified Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that they will be required to set aside a portion of their revenues starting Jan. 1 to fund the development and preservation of rental housing for low-income families. Congress authorized the creation of a National Housing Trust Fund and the Magnet Fund in 2008, but they were never funded because Fannie and Freddie were seized by the government due to their deteriorating financial condition. “Diverting assets to housing trust funds instead of repaying taxpayers or stabilizing Fannie and Freddie’s finances only makes matters worse,” Hensarling said.


Furthermore, in October of 2014, FHFA Director Watt authorized the easing of the new lending guidelines by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to enable creditworthy borrowers who can afford a mortgage, but lack the resources to pay a substantial down payment plus closing costs, to get a mortgage with 3 percent down.  This effort was also strongly opposed by Chairman Hensarling.


Memo for this hearing is below.



US Senate: 


Senate Banking Committee:


Tuesday, Jan 27, 2015 at 10:00 am in 538 Dirksen SOB – COMMITTEE ON BANKING, HOUSING, AND URBAN AFFAIRS will meet in EXECUTIVE SESSION to VOTE on the Committee budget resolution, rules of procedure, and subcommittee organization for the 114th Congress. Following the EXECUTIVE SESSION the Committee will meet in OPEN SESSION to conduct a hearing on “Perspectives on the Strategic Necessity of Iran Sanctions.”


Witness List:


Panel I:


The Honorable Antony J. Blinken, Deputy Secretary of State, United States Department of State

The Honorable David S. Cohen, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, United States Department of the Treasury.


Panel II: 


Mr. Mark Dubowitz, Director, Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance Foundation for the Defense of Democracies

Dr. Patrick Clawson, Director of Research, Washington Institute for Near East Policy.



Thursday, Jan 29, 2015 at 10:00 am 538 Dirksen SOB –  the COMMITTEE ON BANKING, HOUSING, AND URBAN AFFAIRS will meet in EXECUTIVE SESSION to mark-up legislation entitled “Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2015.”





The bill that has been scheduled for a vote was co-authored by Banking members Mark Kirk, R-Ill., and Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and would escalate sanctions on Iran if no deal is reached by July 6. Democratic support for the bill has been steadily evaporating in the wake of intense lobbying from the White House, while fellow Banking member Bob Corker, R-Tenn., is pushing competing legislation that would instead require Congress to sign off on a final deal.

The markup will be preceded by a Banking hearing on the issue Jan. 27 featuring the State Department’s No. 2, Antony Blinken, and Treasury sanctions chief David Cohen. They will be followed by experts from two pro-Israel think tanks, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

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