HOUSING CRISIS -- (Senate - April 08, 2008)
Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I know the main event isn't housing, but I would like to start by thanking the majority leader once again for realizing the only way to address the housing crisis was to do so on a bipartisan basis, and we are on the verge of doing that. We have now made significant progress, and I am confident that before the week is out, we will be able to stand together to announce completion of a good and responsible bill.
Most homeowners will be relieved to know one of the earlier proposals we heard from the other side--a proposal to let bankruptcy judges rewrite the terms of existing mortgages--will not be a part of the Senate's final product. Although well intentioned, this proposal would have led to a sharp increase in mortgage rates for millions of homeowners, and Republicans weren't going to allow that at a time when families are already stretched quite thin.
The final bill will help neighborhoods that have been hit hard by foreclosure with provisions that limit the amount of time empty homes sit on the market--a proposal by Senator Isakson. This, along with the economic growth package we passed earlier this year, will put more money in the pockets of homeowners, and it will help homebuilders climb back from the slowdown.
Americans don't want to bail out the speculators and those who tried to game the system at everyone else's expense, so this is a targeted bill that will help homeowners in the short term without jeopardizing the long-term economy. Its likely passage later this week is something we can be proud of on both sides of the aisle.