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Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

MORTGAGE FORGIVENESS DEBT RELIEF ACT OF 2007 -- (House of Representatives - October 04, 2007)


Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Speaker, this motion to recommit is very simple. It strikes the tax hike from the bill. A vote for this motion to recommit gives us all an opportunity to vote for the underlying bill whose purpose is to provide relief to homeowners impacted by the subprime crisis without raising taxes on America's families. I, for one, don't believe we should raise taxes on one family to cut taxes for another.

Contrary to the remarks made by my friend from Oregon who alleges that some are gaming the system, which could or could not be true, there is an instance, and plenty of which occur, that will impact real families. If we don't pass this motion to recommit, there will be a real cost to real people and real families who are relying on the equity built up in their greatest asset, their home.

Take, for example, a family that moves to a new area in search of a job. If that family currently lives in an area with a depressed housing market and the family intends to return in the future, they may make the reasonable decision to rent their home instead of selling it. They would do so in hopes of recovering some of the home's value in the next few years.

Under existing law, if they later move back to their home and, having lived at least 2 years in the home for the last 5, any gains realized from the eventual sale of the home would be excluded from the tax up to $500,000. The underlying bill, however, will change that. Families that move back into their old house after several years and then intend to sell it could be facing tens of thousands of dollars in additional tax bills when they later sell that home. This is nothing more than a tax increase on those American families, an additional burden on families that are trying to put their children through school, provide health care and live the American Dream.

This provision adds another level of complexity to an already complicated Tax Code. Bottom line, Mr. Speaker, the net effect is to take away from some American families a tax benefit that they are currently enjoying.

We, in this House, should be making it easier for the American people to comply with the Tax Code, and we should strive to make it easier for them to provide for their families.

Now, Mr. Speaker, the opponents of this motion will argue that because the motion directs the committee to report back promptly that somehow this kills the bill; that simply is not true. Instead, it directs the committee to reconsider the bill.

Now, Mr. Speaker, the Senate is in recess next week and the House schedule is extremely light. If this motion passes, we will have plenty of time next week to improve the bill. And I, for one, pledge to work with the chairman, as I'm sure our leadership will and our ranking member, so that we can have a good bill waiting for the Senate when they return from their week-long recess.

So, Mr. Speaker, the underlying bill has a tax increase in it. I urge support of this motion to recommit.

Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.


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