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Public Statements

Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. WATT. Mr. Speaker, I was listening to this debate, and the only thing I could be reminded of was a few years ago when I had a very, very serious political campaign mounted against me and that had about $800,000 spent on television ads telling people how terrible I was, and at the end of the campaign, my mother finally called me and said, ``Are you really that bad?''

I don't recognize the bill that's being described here on the floor. Title II and title III we have overwhelmingly passed previously. Title V was overwhelmingly passed out of the Financial Services Committee. And all of the representations that are made about title I seem to me to be just outrageously overstated.

Like FHA is going to assume all of this responsibility. This is a bailout.

This is a voluntary program. FHA is not out soliciting any of these loans. They will evaluate the credit worthiness of everyone who comes to them.

Like this will cost $300 billion.

There's no way this program will cost $300 billion unless every single person who gets involved in it defaults and we get nothing out of a foreclosure or reclaiming of the property.

Like this is going to benefit speculators.

The bill explicitly says that this is limited to homeowners, not people who have been speculators. I don't know what else we could say on that. The language is absolutely explicit that only homeowners qualify for this program.

Or maybe like the most outrageous one that I've heard today: Well, the market will take care of this.

Well, the market is how we got here in the first place. If the market had been taking care of this, we wouldn't be in this crisis. We wouldn't be having the problem that we are trying to solve. And so this notion that the market is somehow going to overnight correct itself and we will solve this problem solely through market forces just doesn't make a lot of sense to me. But, again, my mother started to question after a while, after people said it over and over and over again. Maybe my colleagues think if they say it enough, that this is terrible, they will convince somebody.

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