CNN Fact Check: Did McCain join, or lead on Fannie-Freddie reform?

CNN Fact Check:

The Statement

Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama said at the Oct. 7 presidential debate in Nashville, Tennessee, “With respect to Fannie Mae, what Sen. McCain didn’t mention is the fact that this bill that he talked about wasn’t his own bill. He jumped on it a year after it had been introduced and
it never got passed.”

Get the facts!

The Facts
Since the recent financial meltdown, McCain has repeatedly said on the campaign trail that he warned his fellow lawmakers about a potential crisis with the government-regulated mortgage firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He’s referring to a May 2006 speech he gave on the floor of the Senate in support of a plan he co-sponsored — the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Act of 2005.

In the speech, he cited a federal report, saying that “Fannie Mae employees deliberately and intentionally manipulated financial reports to hit earnings targets.” He also noted a $3.8 million fine Freddie Mac had recently paid to the Federal Elections Commission over problems with disclosure of its political lobbying. “These are entities that have demonstrated over and over again that they are deeply in need of reform,” McCain said in the speech. He urged senators to support changing how the institutions were overseen by the government.

Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Nebraska, sponsored the bill, which was introduced in January 2005. The legislation, which never became law, would have moved oversight of Fannie and Freddie from the department of Housing and Urban Development to an independent Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Agency.

The Verdict: True. McCain’s warning came more than a year after legislation was introduced. He was not the sponsor and the bill failed to pass.

Update: More claims debunked by CNN

Fact Check: Has Obama never ‘taken on’ Democratic leaders?

Fact Check: Did Obama get second-most money from Freddie and Fannie?

Fact Check: 94 times?

Fact check: What did Obama say about troops in Afghanistan?

Fact Check: Is Obama ‘palling around with terrorists’?

Fact Check: Did Obama say subprime loans ‘a good idea’?

Fact Check: Obama’s tax plan and small businesses

Some truths McCain doesn’t want you to know:

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Fact Check: Did McCain say the Iraq war would be easy, popular?

Fact Check: The potential impact of McCain’s health care plan

Fact Check: Does McCain’s tax plan give tax cuts to CEOs?

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One Response to “CNN Fact Check: Did McCain join, or lead on Fannie-Freddie reform?”

  1. Charles King Says:

    Cnn Fact Check is one of the most important ways the media can help keep the politicians honest. One of the american peoples nagging worries is who and what to believe. You should step up these efforts to keep them honest by maybe a grading system of one to ten to see who’s statements fall into 1}responding to negative ads by opponent 2}ad for statement taken out of context 3 Blatant Misstatement of Opponents intentions, you get the pidture and can set up a grading system better then I ever could. Keep up the good work.

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