Republican senator is calling on President  Obama to cancel the $12.8 million in bonuses that were approved for 10  executives at the government-seized mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that  received a $170 billion taxpayer-funded bailout.

“I am calling on the president of the United States to  cancel those bonuses and explain to the American people, the taxpayers who  bailed out Freddie and Fannie, why he continues to reward failure,” Sen. John  Barrasso, R-Wyo., said at a news conference Tuesday.

The two housing giants have received about $141  billion in taxpayer funds since the government took them over in 2008 during the  financial crisis. Sen. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., is pushing a bill to suspend pay  packages at Fannie and Freddie and require executives and employees of  government-sponsored enterprises to be paid according to the federal pay  scale.

Politico first reported the $6.46 million in bonuses  for the top five officers at Freddie Mac — including $2.3 million for CEO Charles E.  Haldeman Jr., who is stepping down next year — and $6.33 million for Fannie Mae  officials, including $2.37 million for CEO Michael Williams, for meeting modest  goals.

A second bonus installment for Freddie executives in  2010 has yet to be reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Politico  reported.

White  House aides say the president took a lead on cleaning up excessive  compensation on Wall Street with the Dodd-Frank bill, but those provisions do  not apply to Fannie and Freddie.

“The White House was not involved and nor should it  be,” White House Press Secretary Jay  Carney said Tuesday.

But during the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama had  a slightly more aggressive view.

“I’ve always said that any action with respect to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac needs to put taxpayers first  and can’t under any circumstances bail out shareholders or senior management of  that company,” Obama said.

Freddie Mac defended the bonuses.

“Freddie Mac has done a considerable amount on  behalf of the American taxpayers to support the housing finance market since  entering into conservatorship,” Freddie spokesman Michael Cosgrove told  Politico. “We’re providing mortgage funding and continuous liquidity to the market.  Together with Fannie Mae, we’ve funded the large majority of the nation’s  residential loans. We’re insisting on responsible lending.”

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