Thursday, August 1, 2013

Robert Hurt on Housing Assistance Reform

From Congressman Robert Hurt:

Since the start of the 113th Congress, we in the House of Representatives have remained committed to advancing pro-growth policies that will promote economic recovery, encourage job creation, and lower taxes. It is my responsibility as your representative in Washington to do everything I can to make it easier for our small businesses, farmers, and individuals and families to succeed.

Part of that responsibility is to act to reform broken systems and failed, big government policies. As a member of the Financial Services Committee, I have attended 12 hearings over the past six months examining how the actions taken by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have caused boom-bust cycles in the housing market, contributed to the financial crisis in 2008, and forced hardworking taxpayers to bail out the Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) at a cost of almost $200 billion.

Unfortunately, Dodd-Frank, which was sold to the American people as the solution to our financial system’s shortcomings, failed to address any of the problems with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Homeownership is out of reach for many Americans. Government guarantees have cost taxpayers billions of dollars. Though Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were bailed out on the taxpayer dollar, our Main Street businesses that continue to struggle with increased federal regulations, higher taxes, and the uncertainty created by the President’s healthcare law were not.
At a time when the federal government supports 90 percent of new mortgage originations and remains on the hook for $5.1 trillion in mortgage guarantees, it could not be clearer that our current system is unsustainable and in need of reform.
That is why House Republicans introduced the Protecting American Taxpayers and Homeowners (PATH) Act, a plan designed to protect homeowners and taxpayers. This proposal, which was approved by the Financial Services Committee this past week, ends the taxpayer-funded bailouts of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, protects and refocuses the Federal Housing Administration by clearly defining its mission to serve first-time and low- to moderate-income borrowers, and it will free America’s housing markets from government distortion by implementing reforms to increase competition, enhance transparency, and maximize consumer choice. Finally, the PATH Act institutes reforms to ensure that community financial institutions, realtors, home builders, and others are not negatively affected by some of the most harmful provisions in Dodd-Frank.
We need to make homeownership more affordable in this country, and we need to do it in a responsible way that protects taxpayer dollars. We in the House will continue to ensure that the PATH Act moves through the legislative process, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to reform our housing finance system in a meaningful way.
Robert visited with the Saunders family from Nelson County, who traveled to Washington on behalf of the Virginia Agribusiness Council
Robert visited with Alex Yang and Arvind Harinder, undergraduate research fellows at the University of Virginia and National Institute of Standards and Technology
If you need any additional information, please visit my website at or call my Washington office: (202) 225-4711, Charlottesville office: (434) 973-9631, Danville office: (434) 791-2596, or Farmville office: (434) 395-0120."