Thursday, February 19, 2009

Boehner Statement on Housing Plan Introduced by President Obama

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) yesterday issued the following statement on the housing plan outlined by President Obama in Phoenix, Arizona:

“The housing crisis is at the heart of our economic troubles, and House Republicans want to work with the President on a plan that keeps families in their homes without asking taxpayers to bail out irresponsible lenders, scam artists, and borrowers who knowingly made bad decisions. While we hope to work together, there are many unanswered questions that remain about the proposal that was announced today. Why should we reward Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with $200 billion in taxpayer dollars without first reforming these housing entities that were at the heart of the economic meltdown? Will taxpayers be forced to subsidize the scandal-plagued activist group ACORN under this proposal? Should a responsible plan include a ‘cramdown’ provision that could increase the monthly mortgage payments for responsible borrowers?

“Taxpayers and homeowners who are playing by the rules expect their leaders in Washington to work together on solutions to get our housing industry – and our entire economy – moving again. The President’s announcement of his plan is an important step in that process, and Republicans look forward to working with him and our Democratic colleagues in Congress on this issue in the weeks and months to come.”

NOTE: Boehner and Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) sent a letter to President Obama earlier today seeking clarification on six common sense questions about his housing proposal. Specifically, Boehner and Cantor asked:

What will your plan do for the over 90% of homeowners who are playing and paying by the rules?

Does your plan compensate banks for bad mortgages they should have never made in the first place?

Will individuals who misrepresented their income or assets on their original mortgage application be eligible to get the taxpayer funded assistance under your plan?

Similarly, will you require mortgage servicers to verify income and other eligibility standards before modifying mortgages?

What will you do to prevent the same mortgages that receive assistance and are modified from going into default three, six, or eight months later?

How do you intend to move forward in the drafting of the legislation and who will author it?

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