Congressman Bill Pascrell

Representing the 9th District of NEW JERSEY

American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008

Jul 23, 2008
Floor Speech


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   Mr. PASCRELL. Thank you for yielding.

   This legislation could not come at a better time. In the State of New Jersey, foreclosure filings increased 5 percent in June compared to a year ago, but even that paled in comparison to the 53 percent increase that occurred throughout the United States of America.

   I am particularly pleased that H.R. 3221 contains a tax benefit for first-time home buyers. This is a truly meaningful incentive and one that will pull out a large swath of people from the sidelines and into the market. This is what we need.

   Studies have shown that this will help reduce housing inventory by some 900,000 homes, which will, in turn, stabilize prices. This is wise and necessary at this time.

   It is in this climate we need bipartisanship. When it comes to helping families keep their homes, working to solve the housing market crisis, there are no Democrats or Republicans, only Americans. We want to reassure the private market.

   It is in this spirit that I applaud Secretary Paulson for working with congressional leadership to include financial support and regulatory measures for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal home loan bank system in this bill so that they can provide our Nation's families with affordable housing, and for his work in encouraging the President to drop his veto threat of this worthy piece of legislation. Frankly, this is the kind of cooperation from the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue which has been long overdue.

   Congressional changes to help Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae operate are critical to reining in these institutions. Regulation is in order to primarily protect our citizens.

   I also want to thank the chairmen, Chairman Frank and Chairman Rangel, and all the others and all the other authors of this legislation which will offer real relief to families facing foreclosure and will help other families avoid foreclosure in the future.