House Vote on Mortgage Bad News for Taxpayers

Because they want you to pay for the mortgage your spendthrift neighbor can’t, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives last night voted 234-190 in favor of President Obama’s plan to bail out home owners, which bet too heavily on a continuous boom in the housing market, even if they lied on their mortgage applications.

To do this, they will empower bankruptcy judges to rewrite mortgages to decrease the principal obligation, thus ordering already-ailing banks to take the losses.

Whether you are struggling to pay your own mortgage in these turbulent financial times or couldn’t afford the down-payment to purchase your own home and are thus renting, should this plan now pass the Senate, your tax dollars will go to bail out those who were given the sub-prime, no down payment NINJA loans (no income, no job or assets) through Democrat-driven Community Reinvestment Act policies to buy homes they could not afford.

The Democrats’ sub-prime mortgage fiasco would allow judges to adjust mortgage rates as well as the principle loan amount down — even if the mortgage holder in default lied about their income on their mortgage application. There are no measures in this bill to give relief to responsible homeowners who now find themselves underwater, struggling to make exorbitant adjustable mortgage rate payments for a home now worth much less than the cost of their mortgage — other than using their money to bail out their neighbors.

The Democrats, by this action, all but guarantee that the only shot you have at a bank negotiation to lower your mortgage interest rate is to go into default.

House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence of Indiana told HUMAN EVENTS after the vote, “More than 90 percent of Americans are paying their mortgages on time and meeting their financial obligations, even in these difficult days. We should all be willing to make the sacrifices necessary to put our economy back on track. But we need to begin by reaffirming the principle of personal responsibility. The bill passed tonight fails this essential standard. Rewarding bad behavior will not solve our problems, it will only worsen them.”

Seven Republicans crossed over to vote with Democrats to pass this mortgage bailout for the irresponsible (Castle, both Diaz-Balarts, Jones, McHugh, Ros-Lehtinen, Turner) while 24 Democrats voted against: Arcuri, Berry, Boren, Boucher, Bright, Carney, Childers, Dahlkemper, Davis (TN), Edward TX, Ellsworth, Gordon (TN), Griffith, Hill, Holden, Kind, Kissell, Kratovil, Markey (Co), Massa, Matheson, Stupak, Taylor and Teague.

Of the bill’s passage, House Republican leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said, “Owning a home is the heart and soul of the American Dream, and Republicans believe that we need to help families who acted responsibly stay in their homes. But this legislation doesn’t do that. What it really does is punish those who played by the rules to subsidize those who didn’t. Democrats even defeated a Republican proposal that would have protected taxpayers from bailing out those who lied on their mortgage applications. Taxpayers are fed up with what they are seeing in Washington.”

Before the vote on final passage, Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) offered a motion to recommit which would have explicitly prohibited taxpayer assistance to any borrower that lied about their income on their mortgage application. It also would have prohibited taxpayer assistance to any lender that failed to follow proper underwriting standards, prohibited taxpayer funds from being used as incentives to lenders to rework loans for irresponsible borrowers, and prohibited taxpayer funds from being used unless the President submits a plan that provides equitable treatment of all mortgage holders. The measure failed 182-242 with all House Republicans voting in favor of this equitable treatment.

Of the motion’s failure, Boehner told HUMAN EVENTS, “The American people are sick and tired of Washington forcing responsible taxpayers to pay for the actions of those who have been irresponsible. The taxpayer tea parties that are popping up all across America are a reflection of this growing outrage. Defeating this motion will pour gasoline on a fire that is already starting to smolder.”

Senate Struggles to Reach Cloture for Omnibus Porkfest

The Senate is still working on passage of the massive $410 omnibus spending bill. Last night, in a moment of melodrama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was forced to cancel a quorum call that had been going on for nearly 20 minutes past the time scheduled for the vote to invoke cloture. He informed the chamber and the CSPAN 2 audience that he was one vote short of the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture that would end debate on the omnibus appropriation porkfest containing over 9,000 earmarks. The Senate will be back at work on the bill today taking up more amendments in hopes that one more Senator can be bribed with enough personal pork to vote for cloture.

In the meantime, the House will send over today a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government at current spending levels through Tuesday, literally buying the Senate more time for earmark bribery and arm-twisting. Should the Democrat leadership fail to find one more patsy to vote to push this bill through, another CR is expected that would fund the government at current spending levels through September.

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) came to the Senate floor last night asking rather strongly about scheduling for an amendment he’s been fighting to include in the debate and vote prior to cloture. The Thune amendment is another attempt to slow down through funding restrictions the Democrats march toward censorship of dissenting voices through a back-door implementation of what they still manage to call with a straight face the “Fairness Doctrine.”

Below is the text of the Thune amendment Democrats have been blocking from debate and vote:

“None of the funds appropriated in this Act may be used by the Federal Communications Commission to prescribe any rule, regulation, policy, doctrine, standard, guideline, or other requirement that has the purpose or effect of reinstating or repromulgating (in whole or in part) the requirement that broadcasters present or ascertain opposing viewpoints on issues of public importance, commonly referred to as the “Fairness Doctrine”, as such doctrine was repealed in In re Complaint of Syracuse Peace Council against Television Station WTVH, Syracuse New York, 2 FCC Rcd. 5043 (1987).”

We will continue to follow Thune’s initiative.