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The White House and the Republican leadership in Congress continued their turf battles this week, with the Obama administration threatening to veto a House appropriations bill that would cut the budgets of federal regulatory agencies while the House Financial Services Committee pushed ahead with its plans for reforming the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs).

The House Financial Services Committee's Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government-Sponsored Enterprises approved six bills by voice vote that are designed to address the future of the GSEs. All of the bills were introduced by Republican representatives; earlier this year, the White House presented a trio of GSE reform proposals to Congress but did not offer specific support for any of them.

"Fannie and Freddie continue to report losses and rely on taxpayer dollars in order to continue operating," says Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. "As a result, they represent the largest taxpayer-funded bailout so far. Selling assets that have nothing to do with the mission of these two companies is critical to protecting taxpayers from wasteful spending, and ensuring that Fannie and Freddie engage only in activities related to their mission."

Separately, the Dow Jones News Service reports that the White House stated any attempt by Congress to cut the budgets of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Internal Revenue Service would be vetoed.

A White House spokesperson singled out the CFPB for protection, stating that any cuts to the agency's proposed budget would put its independence at risk and "severely undercut the agency's statutory responsibility to oversee consumer financial products such as mortgages and credit cards."


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