This was a vote on final passage of legislation eliminating the Home Assistance Modification Program (HAMP), which helped homeowners facing foreclosure to modify their home mortgage loans.
Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL) urged support for the bill: “H.R. 839, the HAMP Termination Act [ the underlying bill], would put an end to the poster child for failed federal foreclosure programs….To date, the HAMP program has already consumed $840 million of the more than $30 billion…that were set aside for the program. For this extraordinary investment, the administration predicted that 3 to 4 million homeowners would receive help. Sadly, for many American homeowners, the program has been an abysmal failure.”
Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA) also supported the bill: “ I was sent to the nation's capital…to do something about cutting back on wasteful Washington spending, to do something about the $14 trillion national debt. And in pursuing this goal, we have made many difficult decisions about funding government programs. At a time when families and businesses across Pennsylvania are being asked to do more with less, we cannot continue ineffective Federal spending. Like so many programs hatched in Washington, HAMP has been one of those programs that, while well intentioned, has grossly missed its mark. Established in 2009 to assist homeowners seeking to avoid foreclosure, of the $30 billion allocated to the program, only a fraction has been spent.”
Rep. John Carney (D-DE) opposed the bill: “I rise today to oppose this ill-advised effort to repeal the Home Affordable Modification Program. Instead, we ought to be focusing on how we can move together, Democrats and Republicans, to address the foreclosure crisis and keep families in their homes. The [Republican] claim is that HAMP has hurt more people than it has helped. That is simply a ridiculous charge. Back in my home state of Delaware, the HAMP program has helped 1,600 homeowners, by far the most effective government program. That's 25 percent of the homeowners who filed for foreclosure last year.”
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) also opposed the bill: “It's very disheartening that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle would like to shut down these distressed homeowners before they have even a chance to qualify for the assistance. The HAMP program was by no means perfect. Everybody agrees on that. Nor was it meant to be permanent. We all agree on that. Instead, it was meant to hold the mortgage service industry accountable and responsive to those that needed the assistance. At a time when our housing market is still very fragile and foreclosures continue to occur in record numbers, instead of terminating these programs, we should be trying to improve them.”
The House passed this bill by a vote of 252-170. Voting “yea” were 234 Republicans and 18 Democrats. 168 Democrats—including a majority of progressives—and 2 Republicans voted “nay.” As a result, the House passed legislation eliminating the Home Assistance Modification Program (HAMP), which helped homeowners facing foreclosure to modify their home mortgage loans.