CONGRESSMAN BACHUS USA TODAY COLUMN ON PRESIDENT’S NEW HOUSING PLAN

WASHINGTON, DC – February 9, 2012 – (RealEstateRama) — Congressman Spencer Bachus (AL-6) said that more jobs and more private-sector investment, not more failed government programs, are what’s needed to help struggling homeowners.

The following column by Bachus, who is Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, was published in today’s (Tuesday, February 7) edition of USA Today.

To read a Washington Times editoral from February 7 on the housing plan quoting Congressman Bachus (“Cash for Condos“), click here.

Obama’s Housing Plan More of the Same

By Rep. Spencer Bachus

USA Today, February 7, 2012

Just as President Obama’s economic policies have failed to help the economy, his mortgage plans have failed to help struggling homeowners. Whether it’s HAMP, HARP or other refinance programs that already exist, none has worked and all are expensive.

Although the president still hasn’t presented details of his latest plan, judging by his speech last week it’s going to be more of the same.

He means well, but his new plan will do nothing to help those on the verge of losing their homes. Plus, it shifts the risk for borrowers who owe more than their home is worth from banks to taxpayers through Federal Housing Administration loans with a 100% government guarantee.

These risky loans would overextend the FHA just weeks after an independent auditor warned the agency might need a bailout this year. The FHA is currently backing $1 trillion in loans with just $2.6 billion in its reserves. The president claims the banks will pay for his plan, but it is taxpayers who will get the bill — just like when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were bailed out.

More government isn’t the answer. The best foreclosure mitigation plan is a job. Job losses are the root cause of most foreclosures.

Instead of proposing more failed government programs, the president should work with us on bipartisan solutions that help create jobs and heal the housing market.

The House has passed 27 bipartisan jobs bills that are languishing in the Democrat-controlled Senate. President Obama should get Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on the phone and tell him to bring those jobs bills up for a vote.

Getting people back to work is the best way to improve the housing market.The president should also support legislation encouraging more private-sector participation in the mortgage market.

The federal government — through the FHA, Fannie and Freddie — already guarantees 90% of all mortgages.

House Republicans support legislation that creates a more level playing field for the private market to be able to stand up again.

More jobs and more private-sector investment, not more failed government programs, are what’s needed to help struggling homeowners.

Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

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