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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

Fannie and Freddie Open Records Act of 2017 Passes House, Forwarded on to the Senate

Federal Issues Fannie Mae Freddie Mac FOIA House Oversight Committee

Federal Issues

On April 27, the House passed (by a vote of 425 to 0), the Fannie and Freddie Open Records Act of 2017 (H.R. 1694). The proposed measure—sponsored by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)—would subject Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to the transparency requirements applicable to federal agencies under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) for the duration of the time the enterprises remain under FHFA conservatorship. Pursuant to FOIA, the public has presumptive access to agency records unless the material falls within any of FOIA’s nine categories of exception. Having passed in the House, the bill was subsequently forwarded on to the Senate, where it has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary committee. An April 24 Committee Report on the bill provides some explanatory background on the issue addressed by the bill and the bill’s intentions.

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