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Emergency Mortgage Relief Program Termination Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. AL GREEN of Texas. Mr. Chairman, there is a more basic and fundamental question that we are confronting today. That question is, Can we continue to go out of our way to help major corporations? As a matter of fact, $700 billion. Can we go out of our way to help them and make sure that the programs work for them and then turn our backs on the taxpayers that helped those very same major corporations? That's the basic question that we have to contend with. Are the banks and the major corporations too big to fail and are the taxpaying Americans who helped bail them out too small to help?

Can we continue to end programs that help people stay in their homes that did not create the exotic products, that did not create prepayment penalties that coincide with teaser rates, that did not create loans wherein you qualify for your teaser rate but you don't qualify for your adjusted rate? Can we continue to allow them to be evicted when we can help some of them?

We may not be able to help everybody, but when you can help somebody, you ought to try to do the best that you can and help those that you can.

With reference to the FHA refi that passed, that was ended yesterday by a vote of this House, that bill did not lose money unless persons failed to pay their mortgages. It was only if mortgages were not repaid that FHA came forward and covered the cost. So to say that it cost $8 billion is incorrect. It cost whatever at the end of the program may have been spent; but thatmoney had not been spent, so the money was there.

There was also a premium to be paid by persons who got the refis. FHA was going to help a lot of people stay in their homes and help a lot of communities and neighborhoods maintain their integrity and their property values.

We, today, have an opportunity to help people with emergency mortgage assistance, people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own because of this downturn in the economy. It is a very simple premise.

Will we allow ourselves to save major corporations and deny the people, the taxpaying Americans, some help in their time of need?

If there is one thing that I heard from American people, it was: Where is my bailout?

Well, when we come up to the plate, and we try to help people who actually need and merit the help, somebody comes forward and finds a reason why we can't help them. This is the day to help those American people. Let's not let them be too small to help while others will allow banks to be too big to fail.


Mr. AL GREEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker, this is about our veterans. I have but 1 minute, so please allow me to speak on behalf of our veterans for 1 minute.

This is a moment of truth for us. Our veterans have been there for us. We had the courage of our convictions to send them to war. They have done their jobs, but many of them are returning home to properties that are being foreclosed upon. That will be abated. This is an opportunity for us to spend 0.859 percent of the $1.6 trillion that we have spent in Iraq and Afghanistan to help our veterans retain their homes. They have been there for us. The question is: Will we be there for them today?

Don't you take up time to make sure that the veterans don't get what they deserve. Veterans have worked hard for us. We sent them to war. Let's now make sure that we take care of them in peace. Let's take care of our veterans.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.


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