Republicans have long pushed for a structural overhaul of Fannie and Freddie. By contrast, Democrats have warned against making major changes until the companies were stabilized. The companies have traditionally had stronger backing from Democrats, who support their mission of bolstering affordable housing and for years have fended off calls for greater oversight.
Democrats received 56% of some $1.6 million in contributions from the two companies in the current election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Sen. Obama has received $105,849 from donors tied to the companies since he ran for the senate four years ago, making him the third-largest recipient in Congress among the top 25 listed in a recent report by the Center for Responsive Politics, which examined contributions dating to 1989.
Sen. McCain wasn’t listed in the report, and proponents of overhaul say lobbyists have tried unsuccessfully to win him over.
“There were quite a few lobbyists retained by Fannie and Freddie who tried to influence Sen. McCain, but they never were able to get their hooks into him,” said Anne Canfield, who heads the Consumer Mortgage Coalition, a lending trade group that has advocated for overhaul of the government-sponsored enterprises.