Kennedy, Banking Republicans call out Federal Housing Finance Agency for discriminatory race-based plans – Press releases

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, today joined Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) and other Banking Committee Republicans in sending a letter to Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Sandra Thompson about the agency’s racial equity housing plans, which encourage discrimination on the basis of race.

These plans pursue a discriminatory agenda rather than focusing on increasing the safety and soundness of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Though the senators previously asked the FHFA to refocus efforts on these priorities, FHFA ignored their request and instead published a proposed rule on April 26, 2023 that codifies a requirement to develop and measure implementation of the discriminatory plans.

“As we made you aware, the Plans are inherently problematic. They are manifestly unfair and encourage discrimination on the basis of race. The Plans may very well be unconstitutional and violate the Equal Protection Clause as they express a clear, discriminatory intent,” wrote the senators.

“While perhaps well-intentioned, we have seen the consequences of relaxing underwriting criteria and lowering down payment requirements after years of record home price appreciation; many minority families lost significant, generational wealth when they were pushed into highly-leveraged home purchases shortly before the last housing crisis,” the law makers continued. 

Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Katie Britt (R-Ala.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) also signed the letter.

The full letter is available here.