Posted on Friday, March 18, 2011
The House Financial Services Committee voted Wednesday in favor of two bills that would terminate the administration’s flagship Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and HUD’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), which provides funding to local governments and nonprofits for the acquisition and redevelopment of foreclosed and abandoned homes.
With the committee’s stamp of approval, the HAMP Termination Act (H.R. 839) and the NSP Termination Act (H.R. 861) now move to the full House for consideration.
According to a statement from the committee, the legislation would prevent $29 billion in taxpayer funds from being spent to continue HAMP and rescind $1 billion in NSP grant money that has not yet been obligated.
“When you pull a dollar out of the economy and use it on an inefficient program, that’s a dollar that cannot be used in the private sector to create a job,” Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-Alabama) said, according to details of the markup session provided by Peter Schroeder on The Hill’s finance and economy blog.
Both bills passed the committee on a party line vote, with the Republican majority banding together to push them through and the Democratic members voicing their opposition.
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-California), a senior member of the committee, said in a statement, “I feel as if Republicans are operating…completely removed from a housing crisis that brought the economy to its knees, left communities decimated, and eviscerated untold amounts of American wealth. A few Republicans even stated – repeatedly – that the housing crisis is over.”
Waters added, “Today’s vote by committee Republicans to gut HAMP and NSP is a slap in the face to struggling homeowners and recovering communities throughout this country. It’s clear that they want to repeal these programs and not replace them with anything meaningful.”
As with the partisan vote of the committee, it’s projected that the bills could pass the full Republican-controlled House but they are expected to meet strong resistance if they progress to the Democratic-led Senate.
The House approved two rules Wednesday afternoon that clear the path for it to bring bills to the floor that the Financial Services Committee advanced last Thursday – the FHA Refinance Program Termination Act (H.R. 830) and the Emergency Mortgage Relief Program Termination Act (H.R. 836). The full House is expected to begin deliberation on these two bills Thursday or Friday.
The White House has threatened to veto the bills if they do land on the president’s desk.
By: Carrie Bay, DS NEWS