Ryan Rejects Putting Bailouts on the Backs of Taxpayers
Wisconsin's 1st District Congressman Paul Ryan strongly criticized today's fundamentally flawed housing legislation. Earlier today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3221, the so-called "American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act," by a vote of 272-152. Ryan voiced strong opposition to both the unprecedented bailout for the shareholders of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the missed opportunity for serious reform of these institutions. H.R. 3221 also included bailouts for big banks and mortgage lenders that helped drive the housing market into its current crisis. After voting against H.R. 3221, Ryan issued the following statement:
"My top priority is to protect the taxpayers, not the shareholders. Our current policy toward Fannie and Freddie is not only dysfunctional and rife with bad incentives, but it also has potentially disastrous consequences for taxpayers. This bailout plan aggravates the fundamental problem that led us here: Fannie and Freddie remain for-profit corporations but still enjoy a Federal guarantee at the taxpayers' expense against any risk of loss. To force Americans already struggling to make ends meet to take on this risk is a dangerous precedent.
"Congress has tuned out the voice of the taxpayer with today's bailout bill. Since my first years in Congress, I have called for reforms in Congressional oversight of these mortgage giants, so that we could have avoided the current situation. We need to inject some commonsense into this debate, rather than set ourselves up for more taxpayer-funded bailouts in the future."