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September 16, 2014

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Harry Reid, Obama at odds over future of government-backed lenders

Harry Reid

Harry Reid

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

President Barack Obama, much of Congress and leading housing experts and economists in Nevada may all be singing the praises of phasing out home-lending giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid isn’t joining in their refrain.

“I don’t agree with the president,” Reid told KNPR’s Dave Becker Friday morning during an episode of the radio program State of Nevada. “I’m going to look closely at his recommendations, but on the face, I don’t like them.”

Sepaking in Phoenix on Tuesday, Obama endorsed congressional efforts to end the role of government-backed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in insuring home loans and transferring more of their risk management responsibilities to the private sector

“The good news is, right now there’s a bipartisan group of senators working to end Fannie ad Freddie as we know them,” Obama said. “And I support these kinds of reform efforts.”

But Reid plainly does not.

“He says he wants to get rid of [Fannie and Freddie]. We’ve got to be very, very careful doing that,” Reid said. “I have no problem looking at them, revamping. But I think getting rid of them is not the right thing to do.”

A group of bipartisan Senate lawmakers, including Nevada Sen. Dean Heller, introduced a plan to wind down Fannie and Freddie in June. They hope to work on the legislation this fall.

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