Real Estate

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin says Trump has approved reform plan for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said President Donald Trump "has approved" the Treasury's plan to reform mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Mnuchin appeared before the Senate Banking Committee Tuesday and refused to confirm that when asked then, but said he had since confirmed it.

Secretary Mnuchin also said that negotiations were underway to end the Treasury sweep of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's profits.

"We are actively negotiating an amendment try to get it done by the end of the month," he said in an interview on CNBC's "Squawk Box."

Watch CNBC's full interview with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin
Watch CNBC's full interview with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin

The Treasury released a plan last week designed to recapitalize the two, which currently back about half of the $10 trillion U.S. mortgage market, and to release them from government conservatorship. The deal is being negotiated with their regulator, the FHFA. The Treasury plan would require some kind of payment for continued government backing.

Mnuchin said "what we're negotiating is making sure the taxpayers receive compensation for that."

Housing reform is quickly picking up speed in Congress, and Secretary Mnuchin recognized that, saying, "There was a lot of bipartisan support for many of the issues. Issues like affordable housing."