Congress should pass legislation overhauling the U.S. housing finance system within two years, though it should not act in haste, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said.

Haste would be counterproductive--possibly destabilizing the housing finance market or even disrupting the broader recovery, Geithner said in testimony on the future of Fannie Mae (FNMA.OB) and Freddie Mac (FMCC.OB) prepared for delivery on Tuesday to the House Financial Services Committee.

We hope to work together with you and your colleagues to pass comprehensive legislation within the next two years, Geithner said in his first remarks before lawmakers since he unveiled earlier this month three long-term options for the two-firms.