Changing Winds On Capitol Hill

by Peter G. Miller
May 13th, 2008

Among the more-interesting matters in the FHA mortgage debate last week was a question for House Republicans — would they or would they not support the President in his opposition to Democratic housing measures?

You could see this coming. On one side we have a lame-duck President with the lowest approval records since Nixon, on the other we have the all-important necessity of re-election. If you’re a Republican representative the choice is fairly easy: You vote for the legislation.

“Bucking a White House veto threat,” said the Washington Post, “39 Republicans joined Democrats in supporting the bill, the centerpiece of a broader housing package that represents Washington’s most aggressive response to the nation’s housing crisis. The measure aims to unfreeze mortgage markets by expanding the Federal Housing Administration’s reach and strengthening mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It also would create a $7,500 tax credit for first-time home buyers to try to boost sales and slow plummeting home prices.” (See: 39 Republicans Join Democrats As Mortgage Bill Passes House.

The Post also reported:

>>>In House debate, many Republicans echoed the administration’s concerns. Minority Leader John A. Boehner (Ohio) said Frank’s bill would “bail out scam artists and those who were speculating in the market, and they want taxpayers to pick up the tab.”

>>>But other Republicans cringed at the indictment of troubled borrowers and said they were disappointed by the veto threat.

>>>”What’s offensive is some of the rhetoric,” said Rep. Steven C. LaTourette (R-Ohio), who voted for the measure. “They say it rewards speculators. No, it doesn’t. It’s limited to homeowners. They say it’s a $300 billion bailout. No, it’s not. It costs $1.7 billion.”

It should come as a surprise to no one that a large number of Republicans would join with Democrats. Why?

First, the foreclosure issue is now bipartisan. It impacts all incumbents — and would-be incumbents.

Second, the legislation is larded with provisions wanted by the Administration, thus giving cover to Republican lawmakers.

Third, the foreclosure situation has gotten worse during the past six months, not better, despite constant claims that the worst is over.

Fourth, it’s an election year. Do you really want your opponent to explain in great detail how you voted to stop foreclosure relief?

The House bills next go to the Senate. It will surely be noticed that numerous House Republicans supported the proposed legislation.

  •  | 
  •  | 
  •  | 


This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 13th, 2008 at 1:43 am and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Are you a Mortgage Lender specializing in FHA Loans? Join our mortgage directory today! Homeowners click here to appy for FHA Loans