Tester applauds passage of housing reform bill

Senator says strengthening housing finance market will support economy, protect taxpayers

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after the Senate Banking Committee passed his bipartisan Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act by a vote of 13 to 9:

“A strong housing market with a good foundation will protect taxpayers and keep our economy growing. Today’s vote shows that the Senate can still do big things if we work together. This bipartisan bill faces a tough road ahead, but I’m going to keep fighting to provide the American people with the economic certainty they deserve.”

Tester worked with a bipartisan group of senators to write the Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act, which will reform the housing finance system. The bill preserves the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, winds down government-backed entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and protects taxpayers.

Tester drafted portions of the bill to make sure it supports access to the secondary market for small, community-based institutions that homeowners in rural parts of the country, like Montana, often rely on to finance their homes.

Last year, Tester chaired several hearings in his Senate Banking Subcommittee on replacing the federal mortgage backstop with private investment and on the role of community-based institutions in the housing finance system. Since then, the Banking Committee has held numerous hearings that contributed to drafting the current version of the bill.