House GOP: We Have to Cut Foreclosure Prevention Program Because Democrats Haven’t Fixed It Yet

Wednesday, the House is voting on H.R. 839, The HAMP Termination Act of 2011, which is sponsored by Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC). The bill would immediately end the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) — the Obama administration’s signature foreclosure prevention program — rescinding tens of billions of dollars in funding meant to aid troubled homeowners. This move comes despite analysts predicting that one million homes will go into foreclosure this year.

But during floor debate today, House Republicans came up with a novel reason to justify cutting foreclosure relief with the housing crisis still burning. They said that HAMP needs to be cut because Democrats haven’t yet done enough to fix it:

REP. PATRICK MCHENRY (R-NC): My colleagues on the other side of the aisle have not offered legislation to fix it when they were in the majority. And so we’re left with what is required today, [which] is to root out this federal program.

HOUSE FINANCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN SPENCER BACHUS (R-AL): You haven’t mended it. You’re talking about mending it today. Where is your bill to mend it? Is there a bill to amend it?…You can file the bill, we’ll take a look at it, but we’re ending this failure.

Watch it:

Of course, if Republicans were actually serious about addressing foreclosures, they could suggest their own fix for HAMP. But they haven’t. To the contrary, they have opposed all foreclosure prevention efforts, including bankruptcy cramdown and the foreclosure fraud settlement that’s currently being negotiated by the nations’ attorneys general.

Undeniably, HAMP has suffered from significant design flaws and has fallen far short of the goals that the Obama administration set for it. But the answer is not to eliminate it completely, leaving homeowners to fend for themselves. There are, instead, several fixes that could be made that would improve HAMP, including allowing housing counselors to directly approve HAMP modifications. See other recommendations here.

And if it’s really the cost of the program that’s bothering House Republicans, they could support Rep. Barney Frank’s (D-MA) effort to fund foreclosure prevention through a fee on the nation’s biggest banks. “I don’t mean to demonize, but I think Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo and the Bank of America and Citicorp and Morgan Stanley and the large hedge funds, I think they can pay for this,” Frank said.

Instead of adopting any of these fixes, Republicans are simply letting the program disappear, because they believe that all federal foreclosure prevention efforts “need to stop.”

This post originally appeared on the Wonk Room, a ThinkProgress blog.


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Republican Cuts Would Kill Jobs, Shrink Economy


Photo courtesy of Skibum415 via flickr
written by Pat Garofalo, a Wonk Room blogger.


William C
William C3 months ago


W. C
W. C11 months ago

Thank you.

Kathlene Lentz
Kathlene Lentz6 years ago

I want everyone who voted Republican and put these people in power to remember who's at fault when all of these "new" policies start hurting them (if they haven't already done so).

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L6 years ago

These republican will stop at nothing, NOTHING, to try a make sure President Obama is not reelected. They disgust me.

Steven Brewer
Steven Brewer6 years ago

Doug G.
A big amen and a tip of the hat to Carlin, my hero who was not afraid to speak truth to power. As a Marine I was sickened by the haste of those in charge who sent all those young men and women into combat in Iraq ill prepared for the type of combat those in power were warned about. Top brass in the military forced to retire because they had the audacity to speak the truth about what America faced in Iraq in a futile attempt to avert the blood loss that was sure to follow as America tried to occupy the post invasion Iraq. Those overly educated-idiots at the top believed too much of their own BS (much like Chuckie). How many young lives were lost because of their hubris? Now our young soldiers in Afghanistan are again paying the price of their hubris because they pulled the necessary monetary, military and intelligence assets from the Afghan theater (illegally because those assets were authorized to be used in Afghanistan) in their haste to invade Iraq. We had Bin Laden trapped in the Tora Bora area and were triangulating in on his cell phone position when the administration pulled the American's from the mission and instead sent in Nothern Afghani fighters to hunt Bin Laden (fighters who had more empathy for Bin laden than they did for the infidel invaders).

Steven Brewer
Steven Brewer6 years ago

Charles Temm JR
Chuckie why do you and all the other right-wingers country-wide hate America so much you would lie about successful programs just so you can make OUR economy falter or fail again??? Everything in your post is nothing but bull and that is your Modus Operandi for all your posts. I am glad the governors are over reaching their bounds, laying bare the true agenda of making sure Obama is a one term President, no matter what it does to America. Moderate Republicans, Reagan Democrats and Independents nation-wide are now seeing what they got from the 2010 elections and their buyers remorse is coming through loud and clear in the hundreds of thousands nationwide attending rallies and collecting enough signatures for recalls in one-sixth the time they are given to accumulate them. The attack on state and federal workers and laws at the behest of oligarchs like the Koch brothers is blowing up in the faces of these Governors and their legislative accomplices. Walker may not get that expense paid trip via the Kochs to California but will be getting an escort out of his Office by the state Troopers he illegally sent out to bring the Democrats back to the Senate. I am hoping they find some felonies among his official misdeeds...

Doug G.
Doug G6 years ago

How much proof do people need about what these people are really about? George Carlin once commented on how they worry about fetal survivability but once born conservatives don't want to hear another word until they become military age.
Once the government exploits them for war, they can come home and find out how the government really feels about their service. Bush 43 didn't like vets included in his budget, remember? Why should we expect any help from them for people that they haven't been able to exploit in the same fashion?

Steven Brewer
Steven Brewer6 years ago

Charles Temm JR
Chuckie and all the Rebagliteapubbers are so full of it y'all must have brown eyes...

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of the Treasury today released the following:

More than 4.1 million modification arrangements were started between April 2009 and the end of December 2010 - more than double the number of foreclosure completions during that time.
Homeowners in HAMP permanent modifications continue to perform well over time, with re-default rates lower than industry norms. December data for the Making Home Affordable Program (MHA) shows that after 12 months, nearly 85 percent of homeowners remain in a permanent modification.

More than 4,100,000 modification arrangements were started between 4/09 and 12/31/10 a helluvalot more than "a tiny handful"
"after 12 months, nearly 85% of homeowners remain in a permanent modification" a helluvalot more than you imply.

Why do dittoheads and foxzombies always push lies that are easily debunked, because they are stupid enough to buy the BS they think everyone else are also?
This is another program that helps the people who need it the most instead of helping the people who caused the housing problems in the first place. Another program that will help the economy along on it's recovery, Chuckie and his ilk care less about America then they care about making Obama a 1 termer.

Charles Temm JR
Charles Temm JR6 years ago

Ok, so we have a program that can most kindly can be said to have helped a tiny handful of those needing help on the mortgage issue. The actual success rate of the program is even smaller then the total aided to begin with, many of those helped have still gone belly up within a year or less of the Fed dollars sent them.

At a time of dire fiscal crisis, Repubs have decided this is a waste of money. Dems of course defend it despite the small numbers who actually do work out their problems with other people's money. Again we have Dems saying that a failing, expensive program is NOT deserving of being ended, that makes THAT particular party's record 100% in defense of the indefensible.

Using Barney Frank as mouthpiece for the defense highlights a lack of forethought too. It was Barney Frank who defended the housing bubble (until a close race in November woke him up a bit) and actually resisted attempts under the Bush Administration to correct the obvious problems.

This program is an abject failure and needs the axe. Its success rate is so poor that it CANNOT be justified any longer. That money could help narrow the budget gap which will benefit us all, rather than just a few.

Phyllis C.
Phyllis C.6 years ago

WillW, I agree with some of what you said but being a general contractor and house flipper I can tell you it is f##king HARD work. Not all of us are lazy and many neglected run down abandoned inner city neighborhoods gained new life through investors like me.GAINS MADE THROUGH HONEST WORK AND TALENT.When I purchased my home I put down my 20% and rehabbed another dump no one wanted. The increased value was to be my retirement nest egg. Now my boat has sunk due to big banks and fraud! I knew easy loans with no down, no equity were dangerous. I didn't make them. But the criminal banks get bailed out while honest investors like me get screwed. You don't even know how really dirty this underbelly is,and you probably never will if big business and the Republicans have anything to do with it. I challange anyone to do what I did and still call me lazy!
So stop flapping your mouths and take your money out of big banks and use credit unions. Money talks, bullshit walks!