Boehner and Cantor Have Questions About President’s Housing Proposal

Feb 18, 2009 4:19pm

House Republican Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, today issued a statement on President Obama’s proposal to alleviate the housing crisis.

Boehner said, "There are many unanswered questions that remain about the proposal that was announced today. Why should we reward Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with $200 billion in taxpayer dollars without first reforming these housing entities that were at the heart of the economic meltdown?  Will taxpayers be forced to subsidize the scandal-plagued activist group ACORN under this proposal?  Should a responsible plan include a ‘cramdown’ provision that could increase the monthly mortgage payments for responsible borrowers?"

Boehner and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va.,  sent President Obama a letter asking other questions:

"1. What will your plan do for the over 90 percent of homeowners who are playing and paying by the rules? 

"2. Does your plan compensate banks for bad mortgages they should have never made in the first place?

"3. Will individuals who misrepresented their income or assets on their original mortgage application be eligible to get the taxpayer funded assistance under your plan?

"4. Similarly, will you require mortgage servicers to verify income and other eligibility standards before modifying mortgages?

"5. What will you do to prevent the same mortgages that receive assistance and are modified from going into default three, six, or eight months later?

"6. How do you intend to move forward in the drafting of the legislation and who will author it?"

Coincidentally, a few of us asked Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner question number 6, above.

He said he believed "existing authority" allowed them to make the policies, except for some regulatory changes such as allowing bankrupcty judges the ability to renegotiate the mortgages of homeowners to avoid foreclosure. Geithner said they were exploring which legislative path was the best for those changes, but the largest components of the plans Obama administration officials say they already can do.

As for the other questions, I’m working on some answers.

– jpt

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