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Public Statements

Federal Housing Finance Reform Act Of 2007

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE REFORM ACT OF 2007 -- (House of Representatives - May 17, 2007)


Mr. WALDEN of Oregon. I thank the chairman. I want to thank the gentleman from California for bringing this amendment. This is the newspaper from the largest county in my district. This is the April 7 edition. All 15 branches of the library system in Jackson County closed the day before because the Congress did not keep its commitment dating back 100 years.

Yesterday afternoon, after the local counties tried to pass resolutions to fund these services, make up for the lost Federal funding that has been there for 100 years, the county workers in virtually every county, I will pick on Josephine right here, got together to get their pink slips. The county workers, dedicated public servants, laid off their jobs; 28 juvenile justice employees in Josephine County, gone; 11 in the District Attorney's Office, gone; half the sheriff's office, gone. There will be no sheriff's patrols, period, end of discussion.

You all are familiar with the case of the Kim family that was lost, devastatingly so in the Federal forest of Oregon last winter, and Mr. Kim died. This is the county. This is the county where these sheriffs' deputies and others tried to find and rescue them. Because the government isn't keeping its commitment, no sheriff's patrol, period; 1642 square miles will have no sheriff's patrol. Sheriff Gilbertson is beside himself. He has to meet the State mandates to keep the jail open, but they are going to end up going from 140 beds to 30 beds.

Senator Wyden and I were at the White House today passionately making our case to the President to help us on this. This Congress needs to help us on this. We are extraordinarily frustrated, as you can tell, by Mr. Doolittle and others, that even though I supported this housing trust fund, if we've got money we ought to take care of these commitments first so the Federal Government keeps its word, so we can reopen libraries so we can have search and rescue and sheriffs' deputies out on patrol, not only in my counties, but out in the west.


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