On November 22, I reviewed conservative thinking about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and issued a prediction:
In other words, the Bachus/Calabria plan is to: a) keep Fannie and Freddie in place as-is indefinitely, b) go fishing for scandals, c) to “bash” the bailout while keeping it going, and d) to chortle to The Washington Times about what a “political no-loser” this is for Republicans. But I suspect the quantity of actual reforming that gets done will be similar to what we saw from GOP-controlled congresses in the 1995-2006 era.
“We recognize that some things can be done overnight and other things can’t be,” said Rep. Scott Garrett, (R., N.J.), incoming chairman of the House Financial Services subcommittee that oversees Fannie and Freddie. “You have to recognize what the impact would be on the fragile housing market as it stands right now.”
Cautious statements from key Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee are a shift from the debate over the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul during the spring and summer, when Republicans blasted the Obama administration for leaving Fannie and Freddie out of that legislation.
One of the weirder things about the discussion in the media during the 2010 election campaign was people were acting like there was some big mystery about the likely policy direction of the Republican Party. But we’re not talking about a 1952 scenario where a group of people who’ve been out of office for a long time suddenly come back. There was a Republican congress from 1995 until 2006. There was a Republican President from 2001 until 2008. We had unified GOP control in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006 plus most of 2001. The agenda was cutting taxes and making regulatory supervision of various things as lax and business friendly as possible.