Description:This was a vote on a motion that would have effectively preserved a federal program that provided states and local governments with funding to redevelop or demolish foreclosed homes by killing legislation that would have eliminated the program (known as the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, or NSP).
During debate on the bill eliminating the NSP, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) made a motion to “strike the enacting clause.” By striking the “enacting clause” from the bill, the motion would have prevented the legislation from being passed even if it received a majority vote. Thus, the motion would have effectively killed the bill.
While House rules do not allow for back-and-forth debate on motions to strike the enacting clause, the sponsor of the motion is permitted to speak on it. Ellison argued: “This bill is an affront and an insult at a time when Americans have seen over 4 million foreclosures across this nation, devastating whole communities, devastating communities and wiping out city and municipal budgets, so that cities, when they have abandoned properties in their neighborhoods, are left with tearing them down and demolishing them on the nickel of the taxpayer in that city when, in fact, this is a community-wide problem. There's no money in many cities to do the demolition. So what will happen is that an old, burned-out hulk will sit there and sit there as neighbors look on and see the property values in their homes plummet. And what we'll see… is people leaving dogs there. Perhaps the house will be an attractive nuisance. Perhaps some crime will be committed there, drug dealing there, dead animals left there, and neighborhoods will fall deeper and deeper in despair.”
While House rules did not allow for speeches in opposition to this motion, Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) had urged support for the underlying bill during earlier floor debate. He argued: “Congress has appropriated approximately $7 billion…for this program…this doesn't stop or assist folks in getting through foreclosures. It gives money to lenders to fix up the houses to sell, while returning not one cent of the $7 billion back to the American taxpayer. The NSP has done little to resolve the root causes of the increase in foreclosures….This program represents a costly bailout for lenders, servicers, and real estate speculators who made risky bets on the housing market, all at the expense of the American taxpayer and our debt. While putting billions of taxpayer dollars at risk, we should understand that this is a program, two programs that must be halted.”
The House rejected this motion by a vote of 183-240. Voting “yea” were 183 Democrats. 236 Republicans and 4 Democrats voted “nay.” As a result, the House rejected a motion that would have effectively preserved a federal program that provided states and local governments with funding to redevelop or demolish foreclosed homes by killing legislation that would have eliminated the program.