Fannie Mae files to form a PAC

Mortgage-buying company will be able to give more to members of Congress

December 28, 2003|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

Fannie Mae, the biggest buyer of U.S. mortgages, filed papers to form a political action committee, allowing the company to boost its donations to members of Congress as they consider legislation to increase government oversight over the company.

Through its political action committee, Washington-based Fannie Mae will be able to give $5,000 per election - primary or general balloting - to fund the campaign of any member of Congress or presidential candidate. Individuals are limited to $2,000 per election.

Fannie Mae Chief Executive Franklin Raines gave $1,000 each to nine U.S. senators and representatives for the 2002 elections, according to PoliticalMoneyLine.com, a nonpartisan group that tracks campaign finance disclosures.

Legislation to shift oversight of Fannie Mae and fellow government-chartered mortgage-buyer Freddie Mac to the Treasury Department from the Department of Housing and Urban Development stalled this year. Raines opposed the measure.

Fannie Mae's PAC might become one of the biggest in Washington. The company's executives made 1,020 separate contributions to House and Senate candidates for the 2002 elections, giving a combined $966,828, according to disclosure forms. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the biggest corporate PAC, has given $1 million to candidates this year, according to PoliticalMoneyLine.com.

Fannie Mae filed papers for the group Monday with the Federal Election Commission.

Political action committees are funded by voluntary contributions from company executives. Fannie Mae hasn't had a PAC since 1993.

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