Coalition Letter: Conservative and Free-Market Leaders Urge House Finance Committee to Protect Private Property and Shareholders’ Rights

WASHINGTON –  Today, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), in a coalition of 17 conservative and free-market public policy leaders, sent a letter to Chairman Patrick McHenry and Ranking Member Al Green of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. The letter urges the subcommittee to demand greater transparency and accountability in response to the federal government’s “Third Amendment,” which infringes on the rights of private shareholders who invested in the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

“Not only is this Third Amendment an unprecedented power grab that violates shareholder property rights,” said CEI senior fellow John Berlau, “but the process used by Treasury to develop the amendment did not allow for public comment or the customary transparency safeguards that permit the American people to hold our government accountable.”

Specifically, the letter asks the subcommittee to demand the Treasury Department turn over to the committee, or make public, any and all documents, which could shed light on “the alleged need for and legal rationale justifying the Third Amendment, as well as all documents detailing the Amendment’s development and evolution, such as those customarily contained in the administrative docket for agency rulemaking.”

Coalition members include: Competitive Enterprise Institute, 60 Plus Association, American Commitment, American Family Association, Americans for Competitive Enterprise, Blue Ridge Forum, Campaign for Liberty, Citizen Outreach, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, Institute for Liberty, Less Government, National Center for Public Policy Research, National Tax Limitation Committee, Protect America Today, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, Tea Party Nation, and Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.

For more information on this topic read Mr. Berlau’s oped at The Hill from earlier this year. Read the coalition letter in full at