This was a vote on final passage of legislation eliminating a federal program which provided a maximum of $50,000 in subsidized loans to homeowners who were at least three months delinquent on their home mortgages as a result of unemployment.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) urged support for the bill: “…The nation is drowning in a sea of red ink. If we want to help job creators create jobs today, we have got to start taking away the uncertainty of this huge national debt. If we want to save our children from bankruptcy tomorrow, we have to start doing something about the national debt. But everybody says essentially: well, not in my backyard. Not with my programs. Not today. Let's do it some other day. Let's kick the can down the road.”
Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) also supported the bill: “Ninety-one percent of Americans are making their mortgage payments not only because it's the right thing to do, but because they know that the sooner the market corrects itself the sooner their homes will begin to appreciate once again. By propping up bad loans and by undermining responsible homeowners, our government's extending the agony and postponing the day when the market stabilizes and home buyers can safely reenter the housing market.”
Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) opposed the bill: “We're taking people who are in trouble and facing losing their homes and having more foreclosures, which have negative effects not just on the individual foreclosed, but on the neighborhood, on the city, on the whole economy. So this has a macroeconomic impact, but we are going to come to their assistance.”
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) also urged members to oppose the bill: “This particular program they [Republicans] want to terminate today is designed to assist homeowners who have experienced a significant reduction in income or are at risk of foreclosure due to loss of a job, involuntary unemployment, underemployment, or a medical condition. This is a group that needs our help. There are 1.2 million households with a mortgage where a head of household or spouse is unemployed.…And this program potentially could have helped those people….So I oppose terminating the program, and I oppose tossing hardworking Americans out in the street. I oppose this mean-spirited effort to terminate help for unemployed Americans.”
The House passed this bill by a vote of 242-177. Voting “yea” were 234 Republicans and 8 Democrats. 175 Democrats and 2 Republicans voted “nay.” As a result, the House passed legislation eliminating a federal program which provided a maximum of $50,000 in subsidized loans to homeowners who were at least three months delinquent on their home mortgages as a result of unemployment.