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Public Statements

Emergency Mortgage Relief Program Termination Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. HUIZENGA of Michigan. Madam Chair, everybody needs to understand a little history here, all right?

This program was put first in place in 1975. I was 6; all right? This vital program has been in existence since 1975. I understand some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle may have been here for either the creation or shortly thereafter, but this vital program for 36 years remained unused, unfunded, and ineffective because it didn't exist. Now we hear that it's a vital program. We hear that we cannot continue to protect the homeowners of America without this program. It is absolutely nonsensical that we are going to put people further in debt and call that helping them.

Here is what happened the last time government started going in and demanding that credit be eased and all these other things. And I have some experience in this. I was a former Realtor, licensed Realtor in Michigan. I can also tell you I have done housing development. My family is involved in construction.

It used to be, not that long ago, it used to be that you either had to own your lot or you had to have 20 percent down to go get a mortgage and a loan. Well, that 20 percent quickly became 15 percent, which quickly became 10 percent, which became 7, which became 5, which became 2 percent, which became zero down, which became 120 percent loan-to-value because we needed to get people in homes. Well, that was not because the private sector and the free market was dictating that. It was because this body and others were directing them to do that.

We have an opportunity here to unwind some things that have been done. As I said, I wasn't here for the creation of this well-intentioned but crazy initiative, but I am here for the unwinding of that program, as are many of my other new colleagues, and it's about time we do that.

Madam Chair, how we realize we can really truly help people, how we are going to help homeowners, is we are going to get them a job. We are going to create an atmosphere, not a government program. We are going to create an atmosphere that's going to allow the private sector to go out and be productive.

Prosperity is created by the private sector, not the public sector. The public sector receives the dollars that it gets from us, taxpayers, from me as a small business owner, from my employees. It's not a government program that's going to create that prosperity; it's the private sector. It's our job to create an atmosphere that's going to allow that private sector job creation to happen.

I yield back the balance of my time.


Mr. HUIZENGA of Michigan. I appreciate the gentleman's yielding. I need to clarify this.

I'm a freshman here in Washington, D.C. I was not here for the creation of this program, but it's my understanding--and I'm hoping to hear some clarification from you--that there has not been a single application that has even been put in, much less denied or accepted, because this program has not had the regulations promulgated. That is correct; right? I mean, it strikes me that it's like giving a job layoff notice before you've even hired anybody. And that really is the issue, it seems to me, that we need to make sure that we are getting people back to work. That is the best protection that we can possibly give to any program out there for people to make sure that they can make their payments is by giving them a job.


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