WASHINGTON, DC - Responding to pressure from Ranking Member Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee appears to be on the verge of diverting funds designated for a housing trust fund for housing for the poorest Americans to pay for Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd’s (D-CT) new program to refinance homeowners facing foreclosure.I can think of two sources off the top of my head: They could roll back the tax cuts on the richest Americans or ask those billionaire fund managers to pay the same tax rates on wages the rest of us do.
In his bill “The Federal Housing Finance Regulatory Reform Act of 2008,” Chairman Dodd proposes to allow the Federal Housing Administration to insure refinanced mortgages of homeowners who face foreclosure. The Congressional Budget Office estimates this new program creates a potential liability for the federal government of $1.7 billion.
Reports are that Senator Shelby will only agree to the new FHA program if it is paid for by non-taxpayer funds. Senator Dodd’s bill also creates a housing trust fund with resources from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to build or preserve rental housing for extremely low and very low income people. Senator Shelby wants those funds to be used to pay for the new FHA program instead.
“After the $30 billion taxpayer guaranteed bail out of Bear Sterns and the $25 billion Senate-passed taxpayer funded bail out for homebuilders, for Committee Republicans to insist that the taxpayers should not pay $1.7 billion to prevent homeowners from losing their homes, has to be called what it is - hypocrisy,” said Sheila Crowley, President of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
In a letter today to Chairman Dodd, the National Housing Trust Fund Campaign urged him to “identify other resources to pay for the new FHA program besides the only ones in this broad housing package that are dedicated to serving the poorest families in our country.”
The Republicans continued attacks against our most vulnerable citizens is cruel and immoral, and I honestly can't understand why they continue to do so much for the rich at the expense of those with the least. I'm dumbfounded by their mean-spiritedness.
h/t Dean Baker