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Housing Main Financial Issue of New Congress: Bank Exec

Housing will be the main financial issue for the newly configured Congress, Camden Fine, president CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America, told CNBC Wednesday.

“They must and they will try to do something about the GSEs [government-sponsored enterprises], Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac . Now whether they’ll be successful in solving that issue is an open question," said Fine, whose organization represents some 5,000 banks of all sizes throughout the country.

Fine added the there’s little consensus not only between parties about what to do about Fannie and Freddie but also within the two parties.

“We’ll hear a lot of noise and thunder,” he added, “and a lot of headline risk on the GSE.”

On Wednesday, mortgage buyer Freddie Mac posted a loss of $4.1 billion in the July-September quarter. The government-controlled mortgage buyer is also asking for an additional $100 million in federal aid.

“The problem with the GSEs is when you bring them on-budget,” Sen. Judd Gregg, (R-N.H.), told CNBC Wednesday. "You immediately hit the budget with a $500 billion deficit. When you do that, it’s going to show the American people just how big the problem is. And this is not a resolvable problem that you can do tomorrow. This is going to take three or four years, maybe longer, of phase down.”

Your Money Your Vote - A CNBC Special Report
Your Money Your Vote - A CNBC Special Report

Banks and mortgage firms involved with the troubled housing market are under investigation by regulators and state attorneys general, as millions of Americans are in foreclosure and millions more on the verge of it, due to their inability to pay off their mortgage.

There is scant expectation of a substantive solution for the ailing mortgage market before voters go to the polls again in 2012. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are expected to blame each other for the problems during public hearings.

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