WASHINGTON -- Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Reno, Nev., today issued the following statement on a congressional plan to raise fees charged by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and use them to help pay for an extension of this year's payroll tax cut through 2012:
"Congress is essentially proposing to raise taxes on millions of potential home buyers in order to pay for a payroll tax cut and other non-housing legislative initiatives. With the housing market struggling to regain its footing, such a short-sighted move would be extremely counterproductive and threaten the fragile economic recovery.
"The guarantee fees (g-fees) that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac charge lenders to protect against credit-related losses should not be used for purposes unrelated to the safety and soundness of the housing finance system.
"Just as we are beginning to see modest signs of improvement in scattered housing markets across the nation where employment is gaining and consumer confidence is rising, Congress is tampering with g-fees and needlessly raising the cost of buying a home. This will jeopardize the tenuous rebound and is the last thing this economy needs."