Amendment Text: H.Amdt.207 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)

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Amendment as Offered (03/29/2011)

This Amendment appears on page H2016 in the following article from the Congressional Record.



[Pages H1994-H2017]
                    THE HAMP TERMINATION ACT OF 2011

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 170 and rule 
XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House 
on the State of the Union for the consideration of the bill, H.R. 839.

                              {time}  1425


                     In the Committee of the Whole

  Accordingly, the House resolved itself into the Committee of the 
Whole House on the State of the Union for the consideration of the bill 
(H.R. 839) to amend the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 to 
terminate the authority of the Secretary of the Treasury to provide new 
assistance under the Home Affordable Modification Program, while 
preserving assistance to homeowners who were already extended an offer 
to participate in the Program, either on a trial or permanent basis, 
with Mr. Poe of Texas in the chair.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The CHAIR. Pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered read the 
first time.
  The gentlewoman from Illinois (Mrs. Biggert) and the gentleman from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Frank) each will control 30 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Illinois.
  Mrs. BIGGERT. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of H.R. 839, the Home Affordable 
Modification Program, or HAMP, Termination Act and commend my colleague 
from North Carolina (Mr. McHenry) for introducing this bill.
  H.R. 839, the HAMP Termination Act, would put an end to the poster 
child for failed Federal foreclosure programs. Announced by the 
administration in February 2009 and launched in March 2009, the program 
has languished for 2 years, hurt hundreds of thousands of homeowners, 
and must come to an end.
  According to the Congressional Budget Office, this bill would save 
$1.4 billion over 10 years. To date, the HAMP program has already 
consumed $840 million of the more than $30 billion of TARP funds that 
were set aside for the program. For this extraordinary investment, the 
administration predicted that 3 to 4 million homeowners would receive 
help.
  Sadly, for many American homeowners, the program has been an abysmal 
failure. In fact, HAMP has hurt more homeowners than it has helped. The 
program has completed about 540,000 mortgage modifications. Another 
740,000 unlucky homeowners had the rug pulled out from under them: 
their modifications were cancelled. Even the Government Accountability 
Office, GAO, commented that ``more borrowers have had their trial 
modifications cancelled than have received permanent modifications.''
  Earlier this month, on March 2, the Financial Services Subcommittee 
on Insurance, Housing, and Community Opportunity received testimony 
from the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief 
Program, SIGTARP, Neil Barofsky. He exposed the most hazardous failing 
of the program, noting that ``there have been countless published 
reports on HAMP participants who end up worse off for having engaged in 
a futile attempt to obtain the sustainable relief that the program 
promised. Failed trial modifications often leave borrowers with more 
principal outstanding on their loans, less home equity, depleted 
savings, and worse credit scores.'' He continued by saying that ``worst 
of all, even in circumstances where they never missed a payment, they 
may face back payments, penalties, and even late fees that suddenly 
become due on their `modified' mortgages and that they are unable to 
pay, thus resulting in the very loss of their homes that HAMP was meant 
to prevent.''
  Mr. Chairman, many of my own constituents, like homeowners around the 
country, were lured into HAMP with the promise of relief. In the end, 
these misled homeowners ended up with no permanent modification, tens 
of thousands of dollars deeper in debt. One of my constituents reported 
that after many, many months under a trial modification, he was 
rejected from the program and immediately handed a bill for $42,000 in 
back payments, penalties, and late fees. How is that an effective 
foreclosure protection?

[[Page H1995]]

  HAMP has been plagued by problems from the start and is beyond mere 
reform. Numerous oversight bodies, including the GAO, have cited time 
and time again that Treasury has failed to respond to recommendations 
to ``increase the transparency, accountability and consistency of the 
program.'' Last year, the Congressional Oversight Panel, or COP, noted 
that ``because Treasury's authority to restructure HAMP ended on 
October 3, 2010, the program's prospects are unlikely to improve 
substantially in the future.''

                              {time}  1430

  COP also stated that ``billions of taxpayer dollars will have been 
spent to delay rather than prevent foreclosures.'' It is clear that the 
administration has no intention of fixing the numerous problems in its 
flagship foreclosure program, a fact which has not gone unnoticed by 
the public.
  Americans for Tax Reform submitted testimony for our March 2 hearing, 
stating that ``HAMP has been the U.S. Treasury and Department of 
Housing and Urban Development's primary spending program for combating 
foreclosures, and the program has been a costly failure.''
  Headlines around the country agree. A recent Washington Times article 
said that ``Obama's helping hand hoodwinks homeowners; government 
mortgage assistance can be worse than nothing.'' A recent Wall Street 
Journal article was entitled ``Housing Market Masochism; the latest bad 
idea to raid banks and delay a home-price recovery.''
  We need to break down the barriers that have delayed the housing 
market recovery, including expensive and ineffective programs that have 
hurt so many homeowners. Unfortunately, programs like HAMP were set up 
in haste and have done little to restore stability in the market.
  We need to stop funding programs that don't work with money that we 
don't have. Out-of-control Federal spending is hurting our economic 
recovery. Our Nation faces a $14.2 trillion national debt, and 
economists agree that reducing government spending will create a more 
favorable environment for private sector job growth. That's exactly 
what unemployed Americans and homeowners need: a job and a paycheck, 
not a handout or other failed taxpayer-funded government programs.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. I yield 3 minutes to a member of the 
committee, the former mayor of Somerville, Massachusetts (Mr. Capuano).
  Mr. CAPUANO. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Chairman, this is a program that I'm the first to admit has not 
lived up to what our hopes were. This program we had hoped would help 
several million people. Thus far we've only helped about 550,000 
people. I fully admit that this program, like all the other foreclosure 
programs, could use a healthy dose of reconsideration and improvement, 
and I'm happy to work with that.
  But to simply repeal all of these programs is to walk away from 
individual homeowners, walk away from neighborhoods.
  In this particular case, last week before the break, we walked away 
from neighborhoods. We walked away from cities and counties all across 
the country. In this case, we're walking away from homeowners.
  In this particular bill, as I said, this program, short of what we 
had hoped, it has still helped 550,000 homeowners to keep their homes, 
550,000 with approximately another 150,000 on trial as we speak. And 
550,000 homes, just as a point of information, is more owner-occupied 
homes than exist in at least 17 different States. Wyoming, Alaska, 
Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Nebraska, and on--all individually have fewer 
homes in the entire State than this program has helped. Yet we're going 
to walk away.
  Every single State in this Nation has homeowners who have been 
helped. In Illinois, 29,000 homes have been saved; in North Carolina, 
10,000 homes; in my own State, 12,000 homes and counting.
  Again, I'm not going to defend the specifics or every single aspect 
of this program that has been put together, and I am happy to work with 
anyone to make it better, to help more people to keep their homes, keep 
their families together. But to simply walk away without offering an 
alternative means we don't care; this Congress doesn't care if you lose 
your home, period. Well, I understand that that's what some people want 
to say. They're entitled to do that. They're duly elected and have the 
power and authority to do that. But I just can't imagine they could 
look at the individual constituents in their district and say to their 
face, We don't care.
  And if you feel that strongly about it, then you should not just 
repeal the program prospectively; you should repeal it retroactively 
and tell the 550,000 people whose homes have been saved, We didn't mean 
it, it was a mistake, we didn't support it then, and as far as we're 
concerned, you can leave your home tomorrow.
  Now, I understand if that makes me a bleeding-heart liberal according 
to some people, so be it. Call me any name you want. But if you have 
the courage and the audacity to look at your own constituents and tell 
them forget it, you don't care, I would encourage you to do so.
  Mrs. BIGGERT. I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from North Carolina 
(Mr. McHenry), the sponsor of this bill.
  Mr. McHENRY. I thank the gentlewoman for yielding the time.
  The HAMP Termination Act, which is the legislation before us today, 
ends what I believe to be a failure of a government program. Not just a 
failure to help those 3 to 4 million homeowners that the Treasury 
originally set out to assist, and they've fallen well short of it--just 
over 500,000 mortgage modifications have taken place in the 2 years 
it's been in existence. Not only has it been a failure in terms of the 
metrics they set up to achieve the goal; it's been a failure for the 
very people who enter into the program and yet are pushed out.
  Now, I want my colleagues to understand what this government program 
does. The HAMP program, the Home Affordable Mortgage Program, brings 
folks in who are having trouble making their mortgage payments. They 
bring folks in, and they will give them a verbal modification for their 
mortgage. And what has happened--and this is what my constituents tell 
me and this is what the hard facts and the data indicate as well--is 
that a majority of those folks that enter into this program are 
actively harmed by this Federal program. Actively harmed. They are left 
materially worse off.
  And let me quote from the Special Inspector General for TARP, Mr. 
Neil Barofsky, who is a very independent-minded individual. He said 
that people who apply for modifications via HAMP sometimes ``end up 
unnecessarily depleting their dwindling savings in an ultimately futile 
effort to obtain the sustainable relief promised by the program 
guidelines. Others, who have somehow found ways to continue to make 
their mortgage payments, have been drawn into failed trial 
modifications that have left them with more principal outstanding on 
their loans, less home equity, or a position further underwater, and 
worse credit scores. Perhaps worst of all, even in circumstances where 
they never missed a payment, they may face back payments, penalties, 
and even late fees that suddenly become due on their modified mortgages 
that they are unable to pay, thus resulting in the very loss of their 
home that HAMP is meant to prevent.
  ``Treasury's claim that every single person who participates in HAMP 
gets a `significant benefit' is either hopelessly out of touch or a 
cynical attempt to define failure as success.''
  Those are the words of the Special Inspector General designated to 
oversee this program and to report to Congress and the public on the 
success or failures of Federal programs and ways to fix them.
  Now, sadly, in the 2 years of this program and over 1\1/2\ years of 
criticism of this program, the Treasury has refused to fix it. My 
colleagues on the other side of the aisle have not offered legislation 
to fix it when they were in the majority. So we're left with what is 
required today, which is to root out this Federal program that spends 
our taxpayer dollars, yet hurts more people than it helps.
  One of my constituents from Hickory said, ``We've been in the HAMP 
program since February of 2010 and still have no answer. We're being 
charged

[[Page H1996]]

late fees and we were reported to the credit bureau. We've been 
underwater since April and on trial payments for 6 months, which was 
only supposed to be 3 months. We have not yet received an answer.''
  This is a Federal program. If the private sector were doing this, 
there would be lawsuits. If the private sector were doing that, my 
friends on the other side of Congress in particular would be filing 
legislation to make sure they were unable to do that.
  Instead, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle and this 
administration are defending a failed program. And they refused to 
reform it. They refused to change. They refused to improve it. They 
refused to do anything to it except defend it. And I believe, indeed, 
as the Special Inspector General said, it may be a cynical attempt to 
define failure as success.
  So I ask my colleagues to vote for this legislation and remove this 
costly, ineffective, and painful government program.

                              {time}  1440

  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
New York (Mrs. McCarthy), a member of the committee.
  Mrs. McCARTHY of New York. Mr. Chairman, let me say something first. 
In the beginning of this program, we didn't have any service. That 
means there were no people out there to help those that were trying to 
apply. But we have seen encouraging signs in the economy; yet we are 
still on a long path towards economical recovery. Many of my 
constituents are still facing hardship, including trying to keep their 
homes.
  When the housing crisis hit, the private sector responded by turning 
their backs on those that needed the help. As a result, Congress 
stepped in and created housing programs to hold the industry 
accountable and to help these families weather the worst housing crisis 
that we have seen in generations.
  Now, thanks to the leadership of the President and the Democratic-
controlled 111th Congress, we are seeing more and more servicers 
adopting their own programs, largely based on the eligibility criteria 
within the programs such as HAMP.
  The past few weeks my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have 
brought bills to the floor to terminate these programs, claiming they 
have done more harm than good to the homeowner and that struggling 
homeowners are in better hands with the private companies that 
contributed to the housing crisis in the first place. Most of the 
homeowners got in trouble because the private sector is the one that 
got them in the problems.
  I disagree with that and point to constituents who have reached out 
to my office for help because their servicers were not being 
responsive.
  The bill before us totally terminates the HAMP program; however, it 
protects assistance to the homeowners in a trial or a permanent 
modification.
  My amendment, which was not made in order, would have expanded that 
provision to include homeowners who, on or before March 1 of this year, 
submitted required paperwork for HAMP or had made a verified request to 
their servicers seeking that modification.
  My district office has heard from dozens and dozens of my 
constituents who have been waiting for up to 16 months, 16 months for a 
response from their servicer regarding the eligibility for HAMP. They 
reach out to my office at the point of total frustration due to the 
lengthy response time when they have submitted the required paperwork. 
I shudder to think what the response rate would have been without this 
program in place.
  It's very disheartening that my colleagues on the other side of the 
aisle would like to shut down these distressed homeowners before they 
have even a chance to qualify for the assistance.
  The HAMP program was by no means perfect. Everybody agrees on that. 
Nor was it meant to be permanent. We all agree on that. Instead, it was 
meant to hold the mortgage service industry accountable and responsive 
to those that needed the assistance.
  At a time when our housing market is still very fragile and 
foreclosures continue to occur in record numbers, instead of 
terminating these programs, we should be trying to improve them.
  During the markup in committee, when we were trying to improve, we 
asked our colleagues, all right, let's not terminate it; let's try and 
fix some of the things that are not right.
  The CHAIR. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. I yield the gentlewoman an additional 
minute.
  Mrs. McCARTHY of New York. Supporting efforts to terminate these 
housing assistance programs means turning your back on your own 
constituents.
  Mr. Chairman, we have our disagreements. There's no two ways about 
it. But with that being said, to judge a program from the beginning 
when we couldn't get servicers, now we are getting servicers, now we 
are getting people to be responsive on getting people to stay in their 
homes.
  And think about it: All these homes that are being lost to families, 
where are they supposed to go? In New York, you can't find an 
apartment, so what are we doing, making more people homeless?
  It was not the fault of the homeowners. I agree, there were many 
people that shouldn't have probably bought a house for $700,000 or 
$800,000. The majority of us here in Congress couldn't even afford 
something like that. They should have never been given a mortgage. All 
of us, when we bought our homes, had to go through the third degree. 
How much money do you earn? Can you pay the insurance? Can you pay your 
taxes?
  That's why we also put legislation in there to have the servicers 
help them.
  Mrs. BIGGERT. Mr. Chairman, if I might inquire how much time is 
remaining on both sides.
  The CHAIR. The gentlewoman from Illinois has 19\1/2\ minutes 
remaining. The gentleman from Massachusetts has 23 minutes remaining.
  Mrs. BIGGERT. I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Delaware (Mr. Carney).
  Mr. CARNEY. Mr. Chairman, I rise today to oppose this ill-advised 
effort to repeal the Home Affordable Modification Program. Instead, we 
ought to be focusing on how we can move together, Democrats and 
Republicans, to address the foreclosure crisis and keep families in 
their homes.
  Since the housing bubble burst, over 9 million Americans have gone 
into foreclosure. In my little State of Delaware, annual foreclosure 
filings nearly tripled over the past few years. And we aren't even one 
of the worst, hardest hit States.
  Now, one thing is clear. We can't help every one of these homeowners. 
Every situation is different; and, frankly, not every homeowner can or 
should be helped. And most of the help should come from the banks and 
mortgage servicers, but they are not doing nearly enough in the State 
of Delaware.
  What is incredible to me is that, with the HAMP Termination Act, our 
friends on the other side of the aisle have decided not to help at all; 
and that will mean a more direct path to foreclosure for thousands of 
families.
  The claim is that HAMP has hurt more people than it has helped. That 
is simply a ridiculous charge. Back in my home State of Delaware, the 
HAMP program has helped 1,600 homeowners, by far the most effective 
government program. That's 25 percent of the homeowners who filed for 
foreclosure last year.
  And I know a little bit about this. I served as the chair of the 
foreclosure task force when I was lieutenant governor for over a year.
  And the best course, the best result we know is for the private 
banks, as I said, and the servicers to make the modifications 
necessary, for the private sector to shoulder the bulk of the burden. 
But they're just not doing it. And so public officials need tools to 
help out, and HAMP is one of the best tools we have.
  The real question here is whether you believe there is an appropriate 
role for government at all to help homeowners facing foreclosure 
through no fault of their own. It's okay to use taxpayers funds to bail 
out the banks, but my friends on the other side don't want to use a 
small amount to help homeowners.
  Mrs. BIGGERT. I yield myself 30 seconds.
  The gentleman from Delaware talks about his State. Let me just say 
that

[[Page H1997]]

in Illinois, if we look back quarter by quarter, HAMP permanent 
modifications, for example, in the second quarter of 2010 were 167,000; 
but the proprietary were 331,883. The next quarter, 97 HAMP and 
346,910. And it goes on. And I think that's something to keep in mind, 
that the private sector can do it better.
  The CHAIR. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.
  Mrs. BIGGERT. I yield myself another 30 seconds.
  The private sector, out of 4.1 million modifications, 3.5 million of 
those were private sector, and the rest of the 550. And that doesn't 
include the 750,000 modifications that were made by HAMP that were 
canceled.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. I yield myself 90 seconds to say that 
that is an extraordinary bit of illogic we have just heard. The private 
sector, nothing in the existence of HAMP in any way retards people from 
going to the private sector.
  If you listen to the gentlewoman, you would get this fantasy picture 
that people were being restrained by the Federal Government not to go 
to the private sector, go to HAMP.
  In fact, HAMP is also the private sector. That's part of the problem. 
It is also a private sector decision with no coercion by the 
government. Some people wish there was more.
  But, yes, it is true the private sector has done the easy ones on its 
own. And anybody who wants to go to the private sector and get it does 
not have to go to HAMP. But there is no requirement that people go to 
HAMP.
  And this set-up that it's a choice, you have to go to one or the 
other, people are free to go to the bank. If the bank won't do it, then 
they may go to HAMP. So this is an absolutely illogical notion that one 
blocks the other.
  The other point is that HAMP is the Federal Government bringing 
people into contact with the private sector. It is still ultimately a 
private sector decision.
  Part of the problem here is that it remains voluntary. I wish we had 
passed in this House bankruptcy. You know, you can go bankrupt for 
anything but your primary residence. And my Republican friends 
overwhelmingly blocked that from happening. And absent that, we don't 
have the leverage with the private sector we'd like to have. But it is 
in every case the private sector that decides. And if it is a 
relatively easy one to do, the private sector does it without any 
hindrance.

                              {time}  1450

  If there is a problem, then you go into the HAMP.
  The other point is, and I have been waiting to hear, Members have 
said more people are harmed than helped. That statistic appears nowhere 
in the record, and I wait to see it explained.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mrs. BIGGERT. I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Pennsylvania 
(Mr. Fitzpatrick).
  Mr. FITZPATRICK. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in support of H.R. 839, 
the HAMP Termination Act.
  I was sent to the Nation's capital like so many Members of the 112th 
Congress, to do something about cutting back on wasteful Washington 
spending, to do something about the $14 trillion national debt. And in 
pursuing this goal, we have made many difficult decisions about funding 
government programs. At a time when families and businesses across 
Pennsylvania are being asked to do more with less, we cannot continue 
ineffective Federal spending. Like so many programs hatched in 
Washington, HAMP has been one of those programs that, while well 
intentioned, has grossly missed its mark.
  Established in 2009 to assist homeowners seeking to avoid 
foreclosure, of the $30 billion allocated to the program, only a 
fraction has been spent. And of the homeowners expected to be helped 
through the program, only one-eighth have seen any permanent 
modification.
  Despite the fact that U.S. taxpayers have given lenders an average of 
$20,000 for each participating homeowner, there is nothing that 
prevents a lender from still foreclosing after the modification. That 
means that the bottom line of the HAMP program is this: False hope for 
homeowners who see the Federal Government send thousands to big lenders 
only to lose their homes a few months later.
  According to the Special Inspector General of TARP programs, ``there 
have been countless published reports of HAMP participants who end up 
worse off for having engaged in a futile attempt to obtain the 
sustainable relief that the program promised. Failed trial 
modifications often leave borrowers with more principal outstanding on 
their loans, less home equity, depleted savings, and worse credit 
scores.''
  As we work to rein in government spending, to create certainty, 
confidence and, ultimately, jobs, this program, well intentioned as it 
is, has not been tax dollars well spent.
  I urge my colleagues to support the bill.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. I yield 3 minutes to another member of 
the committee, the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Carson).
  Mr. CARSON of Indiana. Over the last few years, the United States has 
faced a devastating economic crisis.
  As a result of the economic downturn, many homeowners have lost their 
homes or are at imminent risk of foreclosure. That is why the Obama 
administration launched the Federal Home Affordable Modification 
Program: to stem the escalating tide of home foreclosures and the 
disastrous impact it has on families and their communities.
  HAMP's purpose is to help eligible homeowners avoid foreclosure by 
providing them with permanent loan modifications to terms they can 
afford. Although this program is far from perfect, it has helped more 
than 600,000 families lower their mortgage payments and stay in their 
homes. H.R. 839, the HAMP Termination Act of 2011, will end this 
program and is the latest effort by House Republicans to end 
foreclosure avoidance and mitigation programs.
  With forecasts showing that there will be 3 million foreclosures 
nationwide this year and the housing turnaround not expected for at 
least 3 years, Republicans have yet to offer any alternative to help 
solving our housing crisis.
  Republicans have also failed to address the impact this crisis is 
having on minority communities. An estimated 17 percent of Latino 
families and 11 percent of African American families have lost their 
homes or are at imminent risk of losing their homes.
  Eliminating support for distressed homeowners at this point in time 
would be disastrous for neighborhoods trying to recover from the 
foreclosure crisis. Instead, we should focus our efforts on ways to 
make HAMP a useful, wide-reaching program with meaningful goals, goals 
such as pushing lenders to reduce the principal on loans that are 
underwater and give struggling homeowners real relief.
  I urge opposition to this misguided bill.
  Mrs. BIGGERT. I yield such time as he may consume to the chairman of 
the Financial Services Committee, the gentleman from Alabama (Mr. 
Bachus).
  Mr. BACHUS. I thank the gentlewoman.
  As Republicans and Democrats, let's talk about what this bill does. 
This bill shuts down a Federal program which spends money. Every dime 
of that money, of the over 1,000 million dollars, has already been 
spent, and they have authorized $29 billion more to be spent. Now, 
that's taxpayer money; and that is money that, in 2008, we promised the 
American people, when the banks paid it back, that it would go into the 
Treasury. That was a promise that we made. So this bill keeps that 
promise, and that's that the money will be returned to the Treasury.
  Now, why do we make that promise and why do we defend that promise 
today on the floor of the House? Because, ladies and gentlemen, we are 
spending our children and grandchildren into financial oblivion. We are 
threatening the national security of this country.
  Now, where do I get such a fact as that? Why do I say that it is a 
threat to national security, which I said last week and I was 
criticized?
  Well, let me quote Defense Secretary Robert Gates when he said 2 
months ago, ``this country's dire fiscal situation and the threat it 
poses to American influence and credibility around the world will only 
get worse unless the U.S. Government gets its finances in order.''

[[Page H1998]]

  And I was told, well, that didn't say that it was a threat to our 
national security. But following that statement, Admiral Mike Mullen 
made this statement, the Chairman of our Joint Chiefs of Staff, ``The 
most significant threat to our national security is our debt.'' In case 
you weren't listening, let me say that again. ``The most significant 
threat to our national security is our debt.'' Now, that wasn't a 
Republican on the floor of the House. That was the Joint Chiefs of 
Staff's Mike Mullen.
  We are spending $1.42 for every $1 we get. We are borrowing 42 cents 
of that. Twelve percent of our debt is owed to the Chinese. Every day 
we write the Chinese a check for $120 million. They could buy the most 
advanced strike jet fighter in the world and still have $20 million to 
put in their pocket each day. In 1970, only 19 percent of our national 
debt was owed to other countries; today, it approaches 50 percent.
  Now, let's not talk about whether we can afford this program; let's 
talk about whether our children and our grandchildren can, because--
let's not kid ourselves--we can't pay it back. Now, do we want to spend 
$30 billion of our children's and our grandchildren's money?

                              {time}  1500

  First of all, should we do that morally? But let's just assume that 
you say yes, we should do this with our children and grandchildren's 
money. Well, who should we pay that money to?
  You talked about the banks. Where does this money go? It goes to the 
banks. Every dime of it is paid to a bank. You have a borrower, you 
have a lender. As many of you have correctly said, and I agree with 
you, people loaned homeowners money they couldn't afford to pay back. 
And is that the taxpayers' fault? Should they pick up the bill? No. It 
is the bank's, or it may be the homeowner's. But the people that ought 
to pay it back are not the taxpayers, and if it can't be paid back, the 
banks ought to take the loss.
  You talk about the homeowners, but it is the banks that will be paid. 
And you talk about 500,000 Americans that have been helped. You didn't 
mention almost 1 million that have been made worse off. Now, again, is 
that some mean Republican saying they are worse off? No.
  Today, March 29, a letter from the largest national Hispanic civil 
rights and advocacy organization in the United States. Do you know who 
that is? It is La Raza. What did they say? Let me quote what the 
largest, and I think we would all agree, a very liberal organization, 
what did they say?
  I urge you to vote ``yes'' on this legislation, they said. 
``Structural flaws, especially the voluntary nature of HAMP, have 
resulted in an abysmal performance by mortgage servicers and hundreds 
of thousands of families losing their homes to foreclosure 
unnecessarily.'' They say this program has resulted in hundreds of 
thousands of American homeowners losing their homes.
  Now, are they the only people who have said this? No. Our own 
Inspector General, our own Neil Barofsky, SIGTARP, who was put in 
charge of monitoring this program, what did he say? Let me quote what 
he said. ``HAMP benefits only a small portion of distressed homeowners, 
offers others little more than false hope, and in certain cases causes 
more harm than good.'' When did he say that? He said it this month 
before our committee. This month.
  How about the Congressional oversight panel, a majority of which are 
Democrats. What did they say? They said billions of taxpayer dollars--
billions, billions--will have been spent to delay rather than prevent 
foreclosures.
  Now, that is not Republicans who are getting some crazy idea that 
this program isn't working. No. It is Democrats.
  And who has President Obama appointed to temporarily run the Consumer 
Financial Protection Bureau? Well, it is Elizabeth Warren, we all know 
the answer to that. What does Elizabeth Warren say about this program? 
Let me quote what she said. Just the facts. Not Spencer Bachus, not 
Patrick McHenry, not Judy Biggert. No. Elizabeth Warren, who works out 
of the White House and who is in charge of consumer protection. Here is 
what she said, December 14th: ``Because Treasury's authority to 
restructure HAMP ended on October 3, 2010, the program's prospects are 
unlikely to improve substantially in the future.'' In other words, they 
are not going to improve this program.
  So let's end by saying this. We say shut it down. You say mend it. 
Let's mend this program. Why? Let's not pretend. We are not talking 
about mending. We are talking about pretending. The Treasury, according 
to Elizabeth Warren, doesn't even have the ability to do that.
  The administration itself, not someone here, but your administration, 
Laurie Maggiano, a Treasury official, said at the Mortgage Banking 
Conference February 24, just a month ago, ``You won't see any major new 
programs coming out. We may tweak around the edges, but our primary 
objective in 2011 is excellence in the program we have.'' Well, there 
has been no excellence in the program. It has failed. The largest 
Hispanic group in America has said, end this program.
  But I tell you what, our grandchildren and children would say this, 
and you continue to say, and I agree with you, we have got 13 million 
American families underwater with their mortgages, and you want to pick 
and choose 500,000 of those to help. What about the others? Should the 
Federal Government pay everybody's mortgage that is behind?
  Why, one out of four American families are underwater on their home. 
You have got, it just came out yesterday: 13 million vacant houses in 
America, and almost immediately you come up with a cash-for-keys 
program where you are going to buy these abandoned properties from the 
banks, from the speculators.
  I don't think you have listened to the American people. I don't think 
you heard what they said in November. This program has been criticized 
ever since its inception. You haven't mended it. You are talking about 
mending it today.
  Where is your bill to mend it? Is there a bill to amend it? Have you 
introduced it? Is there a bill?
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. BACHUS. I yield to the gentleman from Massachusetts.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Yes, we are introducing legislation to 
make sure that the taxpayers are off the hook.
  Mr. BACHUS. You will be?
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. We have introduced a bill to restore a 
provision that was knocked out by Republicans.
  Mr. BACHUS. Is the gentleman saying you will be?
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. It has been filed.
  Mr. BACHUS. What, today? Was it filed today, or Monday?
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. No, last week. Last week.
  Mr. BACHUS. Last week. Two years----
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. The gentleman doesn't want an answer, 
apparently.
  Mr. BACHUS. I reclaim my time. One thousand million dollars and $29 
billion of authorization, 2 years of a failed program, and the week 
before we come to the floor, you file a bill. You file a bill. I'm 
sorry to say to the ranking member, you can file the bill, we will take 
a look at it, but we are ending this failure.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. I yield myself 2 minutes.
  I regret the chairman's refusal to allow me to answer the question he 
asked.
  Yes, we just filed the bill because we are restoring a provision that 
was in the financial reform bill. The gentleman, who has shown very 
little regard for the taxpayer in his own vote sending money to 
Brazilian cotton farmers--and, by the way, I wish he had listened to 
Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen and not voted to force on them money 
for weapons systems they didn't want. They said those things when they 
tried to get the Congress not to give them weapons they didn't want, 
but many of my Republican friends, the majority, disregarded that.
  But in the TARP legislation we said that in 2013, when this program 
ends, any penny that was spent and not returned to the taxpayers will 
come from the banks, will come from the hedge

[[Page H1999]]

funds. And we can anticipate Republican opposition to that, because in 
the financial reform bill last summer, already passed, not recently 
introduced, we say that for many of these programs to recover the costs 
of the foreclosure mitigation and dealing with the results of 
foreclosure, we would get it from large financial institutions. The 
Republicans objected to that, and the Republicans insisted in the 
Senate that it be knocked out. So every time we have tried to get money 
from the large financial institutions to pay for the costs of the 
damage their irresponsibility inflicted, the Republicans have opposed 
it.
  Again, when it came to Brazilian cotton farmers or weapons the 
Pentagon didn't want or infrastructure in Afghanistan or Iraq Security 
Forces, all of the things the gentleman from Alabama voted for that 
comes out of the taxpayers' hide, and then he votes against and opposes 
our legislation already passed and just reintroduced to have the large 
financial institutions pay for this. So his concern for taxpayers comes 
into play when we are trying to help people who are in need, but it is 
not in play when we are talking about heavy defense contractors, 
Brazilian and American cotton farmers, or the large financial 
institutions, because he and his fellow partisans have consistently 
fought every effort we have made to get the large financial 
institutions to bear this cost. But we do have still, as people will 
hear later, provisions to do that.

                              {time}  1510

  Mrs. BIGGERT. May I request again the time remaining, Mr. Chairman?
  The CHAIR. The gentlewoman from Illinois has 5 minutes. The gentleman 
from Massachusetts has 15\1/2\ minutes.
  Mrs. BIGGERT. Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from 
North Carolina (Mr. Miller).
  Mr. MILLER of North Carolina. Mr. Chairman, I rise to oppose this 
bill, but I do so with mixed feelings because I have been one of the 
critics of the HAMP program.
  The members of the majority have pointed out correctly that this 
program has been widely criticized for more than 2 years. It has been 
criticized by the congressional oversight panel, by the SIGTARP 
(Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program), by 
La Raza, by Elizabeth Warren, and, yes, by me. But I have not 
criticized it for the reasons that the gentleman from Alabama gave. If 
this bill is keeping a promise, it is not a promise made in open to the 
American people, it is keeping a promise made in secret to the banks, 
because the costs of this program are not going to come out of the 
pockets of the American people. This comes out of the TARP program. 
That legislation said that any money not recovered by 2013 has to be 
recovered from the financial industry, and whoever's present in 2013 
has to propose to Congress exactly how it is we're going to get that 
money back.
  They can afford it. Thirty percent of all corporate profits are in 
the financial sector. They can more than afford it.
  The gentleman from Alabama frequently says that he hates visiting 
debt on his grandchildren, and I believe him when he says it, but I 
have good news for him. Unless his grandchildren take a job on Wall 
Street in the next 2 years, they are not going to have to pay this 
debt. This debt, if Congress does keep its promise to the American 
people, will not come from the American people. It will come from Wall 
Street. It will come from the people who created the mess that we are 
now trying to clean up.
  But I have criticized this program because it is not as effective as 
it should be. It has gone on for 2 years. It is not what we need. The 
problem, however, has not been what government has made banks do. This 
program has been run by the banks. It has not been run by the 
government. It has been run by the banks. Every horror story about a 
homeowner's being abused is being abused by a bank, the bank handling 
the mortgage, not by the Department of the Treasury, not by the Federal 
Government.
  So, of course, when they come to see a Republican Member of Congress, 
the Republican Member of Congress says, ``Oh, isn't it terrible what 
the Federal Government made that poor bank do to you.'' No, the Federal 
Government didn't make the banks do that.
  My criticism of this program and my criticism of the Obama 
administration in how they have run this program is not that they've 
made banks do what they've done, but they have let banks do what 
they've done. This program can work if there are some tough rules that 
are really enforced, tough on the banks.
  The gentleman from Massachusetts mentioned earlier the bankruptcy 
proposal 3 years ago. I introduced that bill. I have been trying to put 
rules, requirements, on the banks that they let people out, that they 
try to begin to let people out in a very orderly, logical, fair way, 
through judges, through a judicial process, to begin to get control of 
the collapse of the housing market.
  Something has got to happen to stop the continuing fall of housing 
values. Something has got to happen to end the cycle of foreclosures 
and diminished home values and more foreclosures. Republicans have 
offered nothing to do that. We know something can work. We know that we 
can design a program that will work, because it has been done before.
  In the New Deal, one of the most successful programs in the New Deal 
was the Home Owners' Loan Corporation which bought mortgages, modified 
them, worked with homeowners, tailored the mortgages to something the 
homeowner could buy for those homeowners who really could afford a 
house, the house that they were in but not the mortgage that they had, 
and most historians say that program saved the housing market in the 
Great Depression and saved the middle class.
  We have got to make something work. There are rules on the horizon. 
There is now a pending settlement negotiation for the violations of law 
by the banks in how they've managed mortgages. It is with States 
attorneys general and it is with the Federal regulatory agencies. Some 
on the Republican side have publicly pressured the Federal agencies to 
lay off the banks. I really cannot tell much difference between what 
they are doing in the pressure they are putting on banks and the 
regulatory agents in an enforcement matter and what happened a 
generation ago with the Keating Five. But they're doing it. They're 
saying, ``Lay off our buddies the banks. Don't come down too hard on 
them.'' But there is a real possibility the result of that settlement 
will be some tough rules, and there is now rule-making authority. There 
is now a cop on the block. The CFPB has the authority to develop rules 
for banks in how they manage mortgages.
  But something has to work. This has not been working. It can be 
fixed. It has to be fixed. Something has to work.
  Mrs. BIGGERT. I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from North Carolina 
(Mr. McHenry).
  Mr. McHENRY. I thank my colleague for yielding, and responding to my 
colleague from North Carolina, Mr. Chairman, I would say that we agree: 
The HAMP program is a failure. I think there is bipartisan agreement on 
that. Even the SIGTARP, Mr. Barofsky, says, ``The Treasury Department 
is so content with the wretched, shameful status quo, they refuse to 
even acknowledge the program is a failure.'' We agree. It's a failure. 
Although it sounds like, at the end of the day, he is going to vote to 
defend a failed program.
  Secondly, I would remind my colleague that this program actually 
writes checks to those evil banks that he talks about, with those evil 
profits that he talks about, to the tune of about a billion dollars. So 
this program is actually cutting checks to banks.
  Third and finally, that TARP money is actually the taxpayer, the 
American people's money, not the banks' money, and we owe it to the 
American people to give them back that money.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. How much time do I have remaining, Mr. 
Chairman?
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from Massachusetts has 10\1/2\ minutes.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Minnesota (Mr. Ellison).
  Mr. ELLISON. Mr. Chairman, this bill is just like saying, ``You know 
what, you said you were going to give

[[Page H2000]]

us a loaf of bread, but you only gave us a slice. So because you didn't 
give us the whole loaf, we're going to take all of the bread away, even 
the slice.''
  Because the program isn't as successful as it could be, we ought to 
be getting in here and doing something about all the foreclosures 
across America as opposed to what the majority wants to do, which is 
get rid of even the meager program that exists.
  This is unresponsive government. This is government that is turning 
its back and folding its arms on the American people. We've got 4 
million foreclosures, and may end up with 7 million, and yet instead of 
trying to make a program work, we just get rid of the whole thing. This 
is a really sad day and a big mistake.
  If you want to get up here and criticize the HAMP program, you can do 
that. But you know what: The HAMP program has come up with more than 
600,000 active modifications. That's not nearly enough of what we need, 
but it has done something. Rather than get the program right, we 
abandon all those people who are underwater, all those people who are 
in foreclosure. That is a shame, and it's wrong.
  Now let me say, Mr. Chairman, the fact is that this program, this 
HAMP program that we're terminating today, this program, doesn't do 
anything to put Americans back to work. It doesn't do anything at all. 
The Republican majority has been here for 13 weeks and all they've done 
is cut programs that could put people to work. They haven't tried to 
fix anything that's not working. They've just tried to cut back on what 
America needs.
  So that we will be in a position when people aren't working, they 
won't be paying taxes, we won't be even addressing this deficit because 
of the Republican no jobs agenda. It's really too bad. We were sent 
here to do something about jobs. We were sent here to do something 
about foreclosures. We're not doing anything about either, because the 
Republican majority refuses to address it.
  One of the biggest problems with the HAMP program, now that we're on 
that subject, is that we did just allow incentives. We didn't really 
make the banks and the services do what they should do, which is to 
readjust these mortgages. People bought at bubble prices based on 
Republican majority decisions to not regulate, to abandon consumer 
protection, and this bubble market created expansive and big prices. 
The loans people got, we didn't see consumers get protected from no 
doc, low doc, NINJA loans. We didn't see any protection for the 
American taxpayer with any of these financial regulations involving 
derivatives. And yet when the bubble burst, the people are there to try 
to pick up the pieces.
  But what does the Republican majority do? They just take away the one 
slice that might help some people instead of trying to do something to 
help the American people.
  I hope the American people are watching this debate today, Mr. 
Chairman. I just hope they take careful note of who is on the side of 
the American neighborhood, who is on the side of the American people, 
and who's trying to take away that American Dream.

                              {time}  1520

  The CHAIR. The gentlewoman from Illinois has 4 minutes remaining.
  Mrs. BIGGERT. Mr. Chairman, I have no further requests for time, and 
I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
North Carolina (Mr. Watt).
  Mr. WATT. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  As best I can discern, the argument about the HAMP program is we 
should terminate it because it's run inefficiently. That seems a fairly 
strange argument for most of us around here because we know that there 
are inefficiencies in every department of the government. If you use 
that as the touchstone for terminating programs, we would close down 
the entire Defense Department; we would close down the Department of 
Commerce; we would close down the Department of Health and Human 
Services. We would go right down the list and close them all because 
every one of the departments and every program has some inefficiencies 
in them. You don't solve the problem by closing a program. You solve 
the problem by trying to correct the problems that exists.
  This is a whole new philosophy for this group of people, because when 
the Securities and Exchange Commission was not equipped to fine the 
Bernie Madoff episode, their answer to it was let's cut out the SEC or 
let's reduce this budget, not make it more efficient so that it can 
stop the kind of fraud and abuse that was taking place, let's just 
starve it to death. That's the same philosophy that's being applied in 
this context, Mr. Chairman. Because the program is inefficient, which 
all of us agree it has been, their answer is let's close it down. Ours 
is to make the program more efficient and work for the purposes for 
which it was intended; and that's what we ought to be devoting our 
attention to today, not terminating the program.
  Mrs. BIGGERT. I yield 15 seconds to the gentleman from North Carolina 
(Mr. McHenry).
  Mr. McHENRY. I will respond to my colleague, Mr. Chairman, that, if 
we can't eliminate this failed program, what program can we eliminate?
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the balance 
of my time.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Well, let me begin with my friend from 
North Carolina. $150 million a year to Brazilian cotton farmers, which 
the gentleman voted for. Now, what we could have done was, instead of 
giving them $150 million--
  Mr. McHENRY. Will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. I yield to the gentleman from North 
Carolina.
  Mr. McHENRY. Mr. Chairman, I didn't vote for the farm bill.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. No, the question was not the farm bill. 
It was the amendment from the gentleman from Wisconsin to cut out $150 
million that is being voted subsequent to the farm bill to the cotton 
farmers of Brazil.
  We had an amendment offered by the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Flake) 
and the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Kind) not to pay $150 million a 
year to Brazilian cotton farmers. We were told that we had to do that 
because otherwise we would be in trouble. But we had an alternative. We 
could have knocked $150 million out of the subsidy to American cotton 
farmers. That's $300 million a year that we are losing.
  We have the second engine on the F-35. My friend on the other side, 
the gentleman from Alabama, quoted the Secretary of Defense and the 
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff saying national security is at 
risk, but then they vote against him and force on him money he doesn't 
want. The gentleman from Alabama voted for a second engine. The 
administration, at the request of Secretary Gates, said he'd veto the 
bill if that happened. So it does seem to me a little odd to quote the 
Secretary of Defense and the Admiral, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs 
of Staff, about the problems of debt and then vote for money over their 
objection.
  So those are things I would do. Brazilian cotton farmers, I would 
have limited the amount that we pay others.
  There's a couple of other major flaws here. We've heard several times 
from people on the majority side that more people are hurt than helped 
by HAMP. That appears nowhere in anybody's testimony. Neil Barofsky 
didn't say it. La Raza didn't say it. They said some people are hurt.
  I will yield if the gentleman wants to point to any document that 
says more people were hurt than helped.
  Mr. McHENRY. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  There are 800,000 people that are given temporary modifications, 
verbal modifications, that are kicked out of the program. Those are the 
people that have their credit dinged and----
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Reclaiming my time, the gentleman quoted 
Barofsky, quoted La Raza. Those figures are nowhere in there. And their 
credit is not worse off because they're in the program. That's the 
fundamental flaw. What they are saying is--and people have said, the 
gentlewoman from Illinois--go to the private sector.
  The problem, by the way, that La Raza has is this is too much private 
sector. La Raza's problem here is that the problem is that it leaves 
too much to the private sector. The private sector does the easy stuff. 
The notion that

[[Page H2001]]

more people are hurt than helped is simply nonexistent.
  By the way, we've always heard from my Republican friends that we 
shouldn't be the nanny state, to let people make choices. No one is 
forced to go into this program. If they can go into another program, 
they can make it better.
  The final point I want to make is this. Yes, there is a question 
about who pays for it. Under the TARP bill that we passed, it is 
mandated that in 2013 we get money from the financial institutions for 
this. In the financial reform bill that passed the House, we had a 
provision that required that that assessment be made right away. In the 
conference report on financial reform, we had an assessment on the 
financial institutions, those above $50 billion in assets, except hedge 
funds above $10 billion. We have had three legislative efforts to 
assess these costs on the financial institutions. The Republicans have 
opposed every one, unfortunately, with some success; although, we still 
have one left.
  The final point I would make is this. Yes, the HAMP program has a lot 
of problems. Solutions cannot be more elegant than the problems they 
seek to resolve. The absence of any program leaves people worse off. 
The Republicans successfully defeated efforts to give bankruptcy 
powers. They have successfully opposed efforts to make the banks pay 
for this. So they set up a program which, thanks to them, at least for 
now, looks like it comes from the taxpayers--although we'll be able to 
recover that money--which has no leverage over the private sector, and 
then they object to it.
  So I would say again, Mr. Chairman, look at the votes on subsidizing 
Brazilian cotton farmers or a second engine or money for infrastructure 
in Afghanistan or security in Iraq. Billions of dollars collectively in 
all those programs, which my Republican friends, including the 
advocates on the other side of killing this program, voted for. We have 
a program here that will be paid for by assessments on the large 
financial institutions if the Republicans aren't successful and once 
again go to their rescue. It is a program that people go to 
voluntarily. They have a right to go purely to a private sector 
program. If that doesn't work, they can go in here.
  It has not helped everybody. The fact that some people didn't get a 
modification here I regret, and I wish we'd give them more power, but 
it doesn't mean they are worse off. A few are worse off. Nobody quoted 
and said a majority were worse off. I hope the program is continued.
  Mrs. BIGGERT. I yield the remainder of my time to the gentleman from 
North Carolina (Mr. McHenry).
  Mr. McHENRY. I appreciate my colleague yielding, and I certainly 
appreciate the rhetoric used on the floor. I respect my colleagues. I 
respect their opinion.
  I think people of good will created this program; I really do. The 
intent was to help homeowners. But 2 years after the fact, we're left 
with the cold, hard facts that this program has hurt more people than 
it's helped: a Federal Government program that brings people in, 
destroys their credit, takes their savings, and at the end of the day 
takes their home. It offers hope, but it isn't able to deliver it. It's 
false hope that this program delivers.
  I would point to the Special Inspector General's report from January 
26, 2011. On page 11: A combined total of more than 792,000 trial and 
permanent modifications have been canceled.
  I would also point my colleague to the Treasury Department's monthly 
report on their housing programs.

                              {time}  1530

  Of the trial modifications that are canceled, those are the 
individuals who are brought in, given verbal modifications, and strung 
out for a period of months, some for 3, 6 months. I've had constituents 
tell me they've been in this trial modification period for up to a 
year. At the end of the day, these people are kicked out after their 
savings have been taken, and they're left with nothing, not even their 
homes, not their credit ratings, not their savings.
  It's a Federal Government program that's doing this. This is so 
objectionable at its core, and I have my colleagues on the other side 
of the aisle saying that they're bleeding heart liberals--right?--and 
they're making their arguments. Well, let me see if this actually burns 
your bleeding hearts.
  A constituent of mine from Kings Mountain says, ``They keep 
requesting the same information over and over again. They have 
supposedly been working with me to get approved under the Make Home 
Affordable Modification for over 14 months now. The person handling my 
case returned my call to tell me that they've declined my request for a 
modification because I was unemployed. I've never been unemployed. I've 
been with the same employer for over 5 years now, and that has not 
changed through this whole process. After sending her the proof of my 
income, she now says that I do not qualify because I am so behind on my 
payments. I would not be behind on my payments if they would have let 
me continue to pay them.''
  Can you believe this is a Federal program? If that doesn't tear at 
your heart, if you don't see the tears of your constituents who have 
been put through the wringer of this Federal program--this Federal 
program--then I would say that every program must be acceptable then no 
matter how much harm it's doing.
  I know that we're better than that. I think the folks on the left and 
the right who have analyzed this program, who have done a bipartisan, 
nonpartisan analysis of this and research, have shown that it has been 
a failure. It is this Congress' responsibility to end a failure of a 
program and to make sure that the Federal taxpayers, the American 
people, don't continue to write the check for a program that destroys 
people's lives and that has hurt more people than it has helped.
  I encourage my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on this bill.
  Mr. TOWNS. Mr. Chair, I rise today to urge my colleagues to vote no 
on H.R. 839 ``The HAMP Termination Act of 2011''. This bill would 
prohibit new mortgage loan modifications under the Home Affordable 
Modification Program (HAMP) which has assisted over 600,000 people. The 
program works with loan servicers and borrowers to allow hard working 
people to stay in their homes.
  Mr. Chair, my home state of New York has over 140,000 households with 
at least one member of that household out of work. We must invest in 
programs that give relief to families that have lost income in this 
great recession through no fault of their own. HAMP entitles qualified 
homeowners to reduced mortgage payments at a sustainable debt to income 
ratio of 31 percent. This program also provides incentives to loan 
investors and servicers for every permanent loan modification. These 
incentives allow homeowners in distress the ability to stay in their 
homes and to continue making payments on time.
  I realize that this program is not perfect and that there are still 
some outstanding issues that must be addressed in order to make HAMP 
more efficient and effective. However H.R. 839 would simply prevent any 
future attempt by this congress to address those concerns. Mr. Chair, 
we were sent to Congress to solve problems. We must deal with the 
current foreclosure crisis by using every tool in our arsenal to make 
sure people can afford to stay in their homes.
  It is my hope that Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle 
will work together to make sure the American dream of homeownership is 
viable in 2011. We must work together to solve the major challenges of 
our day and we must do so in a bipartisan manner.
  H.R. 839 is not the answer to our nation's foreclosure crisis. I urge 
my colleagues to vote no on this measure.
  Ms. HIRONO. Mr. Chair, I rise in strong opposition to H.R. 839, the 
Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) Termination Act.
  The House majority supports H.R. 839 and other bills that would end 
new and existing foreclosure mitigation programs, turning their backs 
on the middle class families in our country.
  Instead of coming up with practical ways to improve these programs, 
or establishing new initiatives that assist homeowners and stabilize 
the housing market, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle 
support immediate termination of these programs without working to 
address the housing crisis and its effect on the nation's economy.
  Most of us would agree that HAMP has not been nearly as successful as 
initially hoped. Since this program started, about 5 million 
foreclosures have been completed. HAMP is far from reaching the 
targeted goal of assisting 3 to 4 million homeowners: nearly 1.5 
million homeowners have received a trial HAMP

[[Page H2002]]

modification, but only about 600,000 have had their mortgages 
permanently modified under HAMP.
  On March 28th, fifty of my colleagues and I sent a letter to Treasury 
Secretary Geithner to share our concerns about HAMP, including (1) 
establishing a single point of contact requirement for mortgage 
servicers; (2) suspending the foreclosure process when the borrower 
makes a request for a loan modification; (3) providing for an 
independent review of loan modification denials; and (4) urging the 
Treasury Department to begin levying fines and penalties against 
servicers who fail to follow program rules. These reforms are essential 
to ensure that HAMP becomes a more successful and effective program.
  While HAMP has been far from perfect, the program has had its share 
of successes. About 30,000 additional homeowners are receiving a 
permanent HAMP modification every month.
  Moreover, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency reports that 
the re-default rate for the program's permanent modifications at six 
months was about half that of other modifications, and nearly 85 
percent of homeowners who received a permanent HAMP modification remain 
in their modification a year later. This program has also set important 
mortgage industry standards to address the magnitude of this housing 
crisis and ensure that struggling homeowners get the help that they 
need to stay in their homes.
  If it were not for HAMP, there is no question that even more homes in 
my congressional district would have been subject to foreclosure. A 
constituent from Hilo on the island of Hawaii contacted me desperate 
for assistance. At 72 years old, he has a medical condition and lives 
on a fixed income. This constituent has no substantial debt and put in 
over $300,000 of his savings into his home. His bank ignored his pleas 
for help, and he was on track to getting a foreclosure notice until he 
received assistance from HAMP.
  Another constituent, a disabled veteran living in Volcano on the 
island of Hawaii, tried for over two years to get help from her lender, 
to no avail. It was only as a result of the Making Home Affordable 
foreclosure prevention services that she was able to get a permanent 
loan modification, which saved her $500 a month and lowered her 
interest rate by over two percentage points.
  These are only two of the personal and heart-wrenching stories that 
I've heard from people in my congressional district who are struggling 
to stay in their homes. The bottom line is that HAMP provides yet 
another lifeline for these families. Terminating HAMP would effectively 
end a lifeline to tens of thousands of homeowners.
  I urge my colleagues to vote against this misguided bill.
  Mr. POSEY. Mr. Chair, I rise today in support of H.R. 839, the HAMP 
Termination Act.
  As you know, this bill would terminate the failed Home Affordable 
Modification Program (HAMP), while still protecting assistance for 
homeowners who were already extended an offer to participate in the 
program. If passed, it would save taxpayers $1.4 billion.
  HAMP was established under the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) 
and was aimed at helping homeowners modify their loans. The 
Administration rolled out HAMP with the goal of assisting three to four 
million homeowners, yet the program has fallen far short of that goal, 
assisting only 500,000 borrowers and at a cost much higher than 
anticipated. In fact, this program is hurting more homeowners than it 
is helping. Many trial modifications ultimately end up being 
cancelled--putting borrowers in a worse financial position than they 
were before they applied for HAMP assistance. Too many found HAMP to be 
less than helpful, and ended up owing back payments, interest, and fees 
in one lump sum once their modification request is rejected.
  Numerous government watchdogs--including the Government 
Accountability Office, the Special Inspector General for TARP, and the 
Congressional Oversight Panel--are all on record labeling HAMP as 
ineffective. Unfortunately, as I've witnessed in Financial Services 
Committee hearings and on the House floor, the Administration has been 
unwilling to accept these objective analyses and terminate the program, 
instead choosing to throw good money after bad.
  I believe when we see valuable tax dollars being spent on a flawed 
program we must terminate those programs. A dollar saved here is one 
less dollar borrowed and put on the tab of future generations.
  Washington is on an unsustainable path. Out-of-control government 
spending has caused a massive increase in borrowing and the national 
debt is now a record $14 trillion. Facing a $1.5 trillion deficit for 
the third year in a row, the time is past due for Washington to make 
tough decisions so that our nation's financial future will be secure. 
All across America, families are doing more with less, and it is time 
for Washington to do likewise. Fiscally responsible Americans know the 
budgetary challenges we face and are supportive of the steps we are 
taking to stop the waste.
  Mr. Chair and my colleagues, I ask that you join me in support of 
H.R. 839, the HAMP Termination Act. Together, let's stand with the 
American people and get Washington's spending spree under control.
  Mr. VAN HOLLEN. Mr. Chair, today's bill represents the fourth piece 
of legislation we have considered in as many weeks to withdraw 
assistance from struggling homeowners, worsen the foreclosure crisis 
and further weaken the middle class.
  Specifically, H.R. 839 proposes to terminate the Home Affordable 
Modification Program, or HAMP. HAMP is a voluntary program with strict 
and sensible guidelines that has already provided permanent loan 
modifications to 600,000 American households, including over 17,000 in 
my home state of Maryland--and is expected to help another 30,000 
Americans stay in their homes every month through the end of next year. 
Furthermore, HAMP's standards have now been largely adopted and 
standardized across the mortgage industry, thereby benefiting millions 
of additional homeowners outside the program itself.
  HAMP is not a silver bullet, and it will not help everyone. For 
example, it is not available for mortgages over $729,750, for second 
homes, for investment properties or for vacant houses. Additionally, 
HAMP is not for homeowners who can afford to pay their mortgages 
without government assistance--or for homeowners who could not afford 
to pay their mortgages even with government assistance. But for the 
estimated 1.4 million Americans who are eligible for the program, HAMP 
is a lifeline that can make all the difference.
  Mr. Chair, as we struggle to pull ourselves out of the worst economic 
downturn since the Great Depression, it makes little sense to terminate 
a targeted and effective foreclosure prevention program like HAMP when 
so many of our fellow Americans still face completely avoidable 
foreclosure.
  I urge a no vote.
  Mr. BACA. Mr. Chair, I rise in opposition to H.R. 839--the HAMP 
Termination Act.
  HAMP is far from perfect--and we all are aware of some of the 
problems it has experienced since it began.
  But it has helped over 500 thousand homeowners gain mortgage 
modifications.
  And--it is expected to help another 500 thousand homeowners gain 
modifications over the next two years.
  These modifications have resulted in real savings for American 
families.
  In fact--the median savings for homeowners who have received a 
modification is $537 a month.
  I know much has been made by my friends on the other side, about how 
some advocacy organizations--like NCLR--support the termination of 
HAMP.
  I understand the frustration of these groups. HAMP is a voluntary 
program. Treasury could have pushed our financial regulators harder to 
comply with standards. And--we have yet to see a comprehensive plan to 
punish the bad actors.
  But terminating HAMP--without any alternative plans to assist 
struggling homeowners--is wrong.
  Unfortunately, Republicans are eager to turn control of loan 
modifications over to the same banks who got us in this mess to begin 
with.
  Before HAMP, homeowners who were lucky enough to get a modification 
would often pay more per month.
  Now--we have standardized the modification market, and are expanding 
HAMP's reach.
  Make no mistake--HAMP is not perfect.
  But it does give us a framework to build from.
  And doing nothing is not a viable alternative.
  I urge my colleagues to oppose this effort to deny mortgage 
assistance to over a half a million Americans.
  Vote no on H.R. 839.
  Mr. TURNER. Mr. Chair, I rise today in support of H.R. 839, the HAMP 
Termination Act. The foreclosure crisis facing our nation is far from 
over. Families across the nation who face the threat of losing their 
homes need help they can count on and hope for a better future. 
Unfortunately, the Home Affordable Modification Program, better known 
as HAMP, has failed to deliver on both counts.
  According to The New York Times, in 2010 Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac 
took over a foreclosed home approximately every 90 seconds. By the end 
of December, they owned 234,582 homes. They spend 10 million dollars in 
just one month to have the lawn of each home mowed twice!
  To try and help those who are suffering most, both the Bush and Obama 
Administrations created programs to help families who are at risk of 
losing their homes. One of these programs was the Home Affordable 
Modification Program which we will end with the enactment of the bill 
before us today.
  In the face of such a large crisis it is our responsibility to 
terminate programs that falsely

[[Page H2003]]

raised the hopes of so many, but were poorly designed and help only a 
very few. While the administration has allocated $75 billion for HAMP, 
it failed to perform under any honest observation.
  When the Administration announced the program they estimated it would 
help between three and four million homeowners. As of December 2010, 
only 521,630 HAMP modifications have been made permanent. I am 
concerned that for every one of these success stories there are so many 
more that have been kicked out of the program, since nearly 800,000 
modifications have been canceled since the start of the program. 
Temporary modifications offer little help to homeowners who do not 
receive permanent ones, and they end up losing their homes anyway. In 
addition, the Treasury Department reports that about 20 percent of the 
borrowers who had their modifications made permanent are now 60 days or 
more behind on their mortgages.
  Why would a program that was designed to help so many homeowners fall 
so short? Perhaps it's because the program was not designed to help 
homeowners facing foreclosure. On June 22, 2010, Secretary Geithner 
testified before the TARP Oversight Panel regarding HAMP and stated 
``This program was not designed to prevent foreclosures.''
  Programs that were not designed to help families keep their homes 
deserve termination. Programs that kick many more qualifying families 
out of the program than are assisted by the program deserve 
termination. Programs that have such a high redefault rate among the 
families that are helped by the program are fundamentally flawed and 
deserve termination.
  I ask my colleagues to join me in supporting this bill to terminate a 
program that has fallen so short of its laudable goals.
  Ms. BROWN of Florida. Mr. Chair, I rise today to oppose this spurious 
legislation to eliminate a program that has just begun to help our 
constituents recover from the horrible housing crisis that has taken 
hold of our communities.
  This program has helped more than 600,000 families stay in their 
homes while helping neighborhoods avoid the associated blight that 
comes with vacant and foreclosed homes.
  The legislation allowed hard-working American families in danger of 
losing their homes to refinance into lower-cost government-insured 
mortgages they can afford to repay.
  Florida has had over 82,000 permanent and trial modifications under 
this program. This is over 82,000 families who do not have to worry 
about where they are going to sleep tomorrow. 82,000 families who know 
where their kids are going to go to school tomorrow.
  I was able to hold foreclosure workshops in cities and towns 
throughout my district to help these families at risk of losing their 
homes. With this program's help, these families were able to stay in 
their homes, keeping neighborhoods intact.
  I believe that more money should be used to keep people in their 
homes. To the administration's credit, they attempted to create other 
programs that would do that. The Republican majority has spent the last 
weeks attempting to eliminate those programs also.
  Eliminating this program without a replacement program for the people 
on the front lines of this recession is heartless and should be 
criminal.
  Defeat this legislation and vote to keep people in their homes and 
our communities living and vibrant.
  The CHAIR. All time for general debate has expired.
  Pursuant to the rule, the amendment in the nature of a substitute 
printed in the bill shall be considered as an original bill for the 
purpose of amendment under the 5-minute rule and shall be considered 
read.
  The text of the amendment in the nature of a substitute is as 
follows:

                                H.R. 839

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``The HAMP Termination Act of 
     2011''.

     SEC. 2. TERMINATION OF AUTHORITY.

       Section 120 of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 
     2008 (12 U.S.C. 5230) is amended by adding at the end the 
     following new subsection:
       ``(c) Termination of Authority To Provide New Assistance 
     Under the Home Affordable Modification Program.--
       ``(1) In general.--Except as provided under paragraph (2), 
     after the date of the enactment of this subsection the 
     Secretary may not provide any assistance under the Home 
     Affordable Modification Program under the Making Home 
     Affordable initiative of the Secretary, authorized under this 
     Act, on behalf of any homeowner.
       ``(2) Protection of existing obligations on behalf of 
     homeowners already extended an offer to participate in the 
     program.--Paragraph (1) shall not apply with respect to 
     assistance provided on behalf of a homeowner who, before the 
     date of the enactment of this subsection, was extended an 
     offer to participate in the Home Affordable Modification 
     Program on a trial or permanent basis.
       ``(3) Study of use of program by members of the armed 
     forces, veterans, and gold star recipients.--
       ``(A) Study.--The Secretary shall conduct a study to 
     determine the extent of usage of the Home Affordable 
     Modification Program by, and the impact of such Program on, 
     covered homeowners.
       ``(B) Report.--Not later than the expiration of the 90-day 
     period beginning on the date of the enactment of this 
     subsection, the Secretary shall submit to the Congress a 
     report setting forth the results of the study under paragraph 
     (1) and identifying best practices, derived from studying the 
     Home Affordable Modification Program, that could be applied 
     to existing mortgage assistance programs available to covered 
     homeowners.
       ``(C) Covered homeowner.--For purposes of this subsection, 
     the term `covered homeowner' means a homeowner who is--
       ``(i) a member of the Armed Forces of the United States on 
     active duty or the spouse or parent of such a member;
       ``(ii) a veteran, as such term is defined in section 101 of 
     title 38, United States Code; or
       ``(iii) eligible to receive a Gold Star lapel pin under 
     section 1126 of title 10, United States Code, as a widow, 
     parent, or next of kin of a member of the Armed Forces person 
     who died in a manner described in subsection (a) of such 
     section.
       ``(4) Publication of member availability for assistance.--
     Not later than 5 days after the date of the enactment of this 
     subsection, the Secretary of the Treasury shall publish to 
     its Website on the World Wide Web in a prominent location, 
     large point font, and boldface type the following statement: 
     `The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) has been 
     terminated. If you are having trouble paying your mortgage 
     and need help contacting your lender or servicer for purposes 
     of negotiating or acquiring a loan modification, please 
     contact your Member of Congress to assist you in contacting 
     your lender or servicer for the purpose of negotiating or 
     acquiring a loan modification.'.''.

  The CHAIR. No amendment to the committee amendment is in order except 
those printed in part A of House Report 112-34. Each such amendment may 
be offered only in the order printed in the report, by a Member 
designated in the report, shall be considered read, shall be debatable 
for the time specified in the report equally divided and controlled by 
the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and 
shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question.


                  Amendment No. 1 Offered by Mr. Hanna

  The CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 1 printed in 
part A of House Report 112-34.
  Mr. HANNA. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 4, after line 6, insert the following new section (and 
     redesignate the succeeding sections accordingly):

     SEC. 2. CONGRESSIONAL FINDINGS.

       The Congress finds the following:
       (1) According to the Department of the Treasury--
       (A) the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) is 
     designed to ``help as many as 3 to 4 million financially 
     struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure by modifying loans to 
     a level that is affordable for borrowers now and sustainable 
     over the long term''; and
       (B) as of February 2011, only 607,600 active permanent 
     mortgage modifications were made under HAMP.
       (2) Many homeowners whose HAMP modifications were canceled 
     suffered because they made futile payments and some of those 
     homeowners were even forced into foreclosure.
       (3) The Special Inspector General for TARP reported that 
     HAMP ``benefits only a small portion of distressed 
     homeowners, offers others little more than false hope, and in 
     certain cases causes more harm than good''.
       (4) Approximately $30 billion was obligated by the 
     Department of the Treasury to HAMP, however, approximately 
     only $840 million has been disbursed.
       (5) Terminating HAMP would save American taxpayers 
     approximately $1.4 billion, according to the Congressional 
     Budget Office.

  The CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 170, the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Hanna) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New York.
  Mr. HANNA. Mr. Chairman, this amendment would add a findings section 
detailing the flaws of the Home Affordable Modification Program, or 
HAMP. It would also state that terminating HAMP would result in 
significant savings for the American taxpayers.

[[Page H2004]]

  I filed this amendment during Sunshine Week, which highlights the 
importance of open government. In keeping with the spirit of 
transparency, this amendment would include within the bill the specific 
reasons why we should end the failed HAMP program.
  The HAMP program was designed to assist between 3 and 4 million 
homeowners. However, as of February, only 607,000 active permanent 
mortgage modifications were made under HAMP. While $30 billion was 
obligated by the Treasury to HAMP, only $1.04 billion has been 
disbursed. Furthermore, the Special Inspector General for TARP reported 
that HAMP offers many homeowners ``little more than false hope and in 
certain cases causes more harm than good.'' The program does not 
fulfill its intended purpose of helping American homeowners. It delays 
rather than prevents foreclosure.
  This program was flawed from the beginning. According to The Wall 
Street Journal, the number of applications canceled far exceeds those 
that were approved, and the number of applications continues to slow. I 
agree with the Journal's assessment, which also pointed out that 
keeping people in homes they cannot afford is bad policy. Incentivizing 
mortgage servicers to do just that only exacerbates our housing crisis. 
Moreover, the private sector is better equipped to deal with the 
problem, and they have modified nearly double the number of loans 
themselves without government involvement.
  My amendment concludes that ending this ineffective program would 
save taxpayers $1.4 billion, which is according to the Congressional 
Budget Office. This is one step toward restoring fiscal discipline to 
our Federal Government.
  Too often, our constituents receive biased or incomplete information 
on the issues we are discussing in Congress, thus making it difficult 
for them to make informed assessments of our work. Including additional 
facts on the intended consequences of legislation is beneficial to the 
public. That is why I urge support for the Hanna amendment and the 
underlying bill.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. ELLISON. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from Minnesota is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. ELLISON. I rise in opposition to the gentleman from New York's 
amendment and in opposition to the underlying bill today.
  Mr. Chairman, the middle class is shrinking, and deficits are rising 
because Republicans are giving a pass to special interests who cheated 
American homeowners and wrecked our economy. This is the 13th week of 
the Republican-controlled Congress. Republicans continue to ignore the 
people's top priority, which is jobs. Instead of working to keep middle 
class families in their homes, the Republican plan is to foreclose on 
the American middle class. The American people sent us here to protect 
the dream, not to destroy it, not to perpetuate a Wall Street 
nightmare. Democrats are standing with the American people to create 
good-paying American jobs and to keep Americans in their homes.
  This legislation is just the latest attempt by the Republican 
majority to end foreclosure programs to help middle class Americans. 
The majority's housing plan is very simple: foreclose on the middle 
class. Now that millions of families have already lost their homes, 
their plan is to hand out foreclosure notices to everybody else.
  What's the Republican answer if you lose your home to foreclosure? So 
be it. What's the Republican answer if your neighbors lose their homes? 
So be it. What's the Republican answer if you lose your job? So be it.
  Mr. Chair, I would like to yield 20 seconds to the gentleman from New 
York for a question. I am offering the gentleman 20 seconds because I 
want to ask him a question.
  Does the gentleman want to answer the question?
  Mrs. BIGGERT. The gentleman is not here.
  Mr. ELLISON. How many jobs does this amendment create?
  Mrs. BIGGERT. This legislation is to reiterate what the Congressional 
Budget Office says about----
  Mr. ELLISON. Reclaiming my time, the gentlelady hasn't told me the 
jobs that this amendment, this bill, is going to create.
  Mr. McHENRY. Will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. ELLISON. I yield to the gentleman from North Carolina.
  How many jobs is this amendment going to create or is this bill going 
to create?
  Mr. McHENRY. Certainly, a multibillion-dollar Federal program doesn't 
create any real private sector jobs.
  Mr. ELLISON. I reclaim my time.
  ``No jobs'' is the answer from the gentleman from North Carolina. I 
appreciate his candor.
  Mr. McHENRY. Will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. ELLISON. Let me just finish here.
  Mr. McHENRY. If the gentleman would yield, I would be happy to 
explain.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from Minnesota controls the time.
  Mr. ELLISON. We are here for the specific purpose of trying to create 
some jobs and to help the American people create their own dreams. 
That's about jobs. We've been here 13 weeks, and the majority caucus, 
Mr. Chair, hasn't created one single job.
  I asked the gentleman from North Carolina how many jobs this bill is 
creating, and he just went off on a tangent somewhere. Now, I'm looking 
for some kind of a number. I'll even take an estimate.
  How many jobs does this bill create?
  I yield to the gentleman.
  Mr. McHENRY. When you cut Federal spending, you create private sector 
jobs. When you tax people more, you get less private sector growth.
  Mr. ELLISON. I reclaim my time.
  Look, we are supposed to be creating jobs around here, Mr. Chair, and 
we're not creating anything.

                              {time}  1540

  The fact is we get spin and we get imaginary arguments and we get 
failed and flawed economic theory but no answer to the fundamental 
question, which is, when are the jobs going to start arriving around 
here?
  Mr. Chair, it is a pretty simple question: How many jobs does this 
bill create? How many families will this bill help keep in their homes? 
In fact, Mr. Chair, I have three major studies here with me today which 
I would like to enter into the Record which state very clearly that the 
Republican spending bill eliminates nearly 1 million jobs. The Economic 
Policy Institute study shows that the Republican spending bill, H.R. 1, 
will cut nearly 1 million American jobs. Mark Zandi of Moody's 
Analytics said that the Republican spending bill will cut 1 million 
jobs. A report from Goldman Sachs says that the Republican spending 
bill will cut nearly 1 million jobs.
  Why is the Republican majority against jobs? Why won't they take a 
moment to do something about jobs?

           [From the Economic Policy Institute, Feb. 9, 2011]

  Republican Proposal to `Right Our Fiscal Ship' Throws More Workers 
                               Overboard

                          (By Rebecca Thiess)

       Update: Since this piece was posted last week, the 
     magnitude of discretionary funding cuts for the duration of 
     this fiscal year proposed by House Republican leadership has 
     grown substantially, especially considering the short time 
     frame for implementation. After the House Appropriations 
     Committee detailed $74 billion in cuts last Wednesday, a 
     number of conservative members demanded $26 billion in 
     additional cuts to make good on the ``Pledge to America,'' 
     bringing the total level of cuts relative to President 
     Obama's FY 2011 budget request to $100 billion. A full $100 
     billion cut to discretionary spending would likely result in 
     job losses on the order of 994,000, using OMB's GDP 
     projections (CBO's projections are based on current law) and 
     assuming a fiscal multiplier of 1.5.
       The new GOP budget proposes cutting non-security 
     discretionary spending by $81 billion relative to the 
     president's $478 billion request for 2011. Non-security 
     discretionary cuts of this magnitude would likely result in 
     job losses of just over 800,000. (2/15/2011)
                                  ____

       Today the Republican-led House Appropriations Committee 
     released a list of 70 proposed funding cuts to government 
     operations for the rest of fiscal year 2011. The cuts 
     included in the committee's proposal are extensive in both 
     their depth and reach. In total, House Republicans propose 
     funding the government at a level $74 billion below President 
     Obama's FY 2011 budget request. Of that cut, $58 billion 
     (over three-quarters) would apply to non-security 
     discretionary spending.
       Included on the chopping block are a $224 million cut to 
     Amtrak, a $256 million cut in assistance to state and local 
     law enforcement, an $889 million cut for energy efficiency 
     and renewable energy programs, a $1

[[Page H2005]]

     billion cut to the National Institute for Health, a $1.3 
     billion cut to community health centers, and a $1.6 billion 
     cut to the Environmental Protection Agency. All cuts can be 
     seen proportionally, below:
       Cuts of this magnitude will undermine gross domestic 
     product performance at a time when the economy is seeing 
     anemic post-recession growth. Cuts in the range of $74 
     billion will lead to the loss of roughly 700,000 jobs. The 
     domestic discretionary reduction of $58 billion will result 
     in the loss of around 590,000 jobs, as we demonstrate in this 
     briefing paper.
       Like Paul Ryan's budget outline, as we stress in this 
     related piece, the proposal suggests Americans take on 
     unnecessary pain with no long-term gain. While $58 billion 
     represents a 12% reduction to the nonsecurity discretionary 
     budget, it only represents 4% of the total 2011 deficit, and 
     less than 2% of total spending as projected by the 
     Congressional Budget Office. In other words, changes to the 
     short-term budget picture would be inconsequential at best, 
     and there would be practically no benefit at all regarding 
     the longer-term budget trajectory. Meanwhile, associated job 
     losses would certainly magnify the ongoing labor market 
     crisis, which has now experienced 21 straight months of 
     unemployment over 9%.
       Appropriations Committee chairman Hal Rogers has stated 
     that he has a unique opportunity to ``right our fiscal 
     ship.'' In reality, the nonsecurity discretionary budget is 
     not adding to our long-term debt instability. If anything, 
     the GOP efforts to extend tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of 
     Americans and water down the estate tax have made our fiscal 
     ship a leakier vessel (according to the Center on Budget and 
     Policy Priorities, these tax policies will have a two-year 
     deficit impact of $139 billion). The proposed program cuts 
     not only fail to offset that lost tax revenue, but they also 
     target programs that exist to promote innovation, global 
     competitiveness, and community and safety-net services. This 
     is an effort to cut helpful and innovative programs and 
     services traditionally opposed by conservatives, disguised as 
     an effort to promote fiscal responsibility. It would reduce 
     jobs, it would hurt millions of people, and it would barely 
     dent our long-term budget picture.
                                  ____


                [From Moody's Analytics, Feb. 28, 2011]

              A Federal Shutdown Could Derail the Recovery

                            (By Mark Zandi)

       Odds are uncomfortably high that the federal budget impasse 
     will prompt a government shutdown.
       The Obama administration has shown significant spending 
     restraint in its recent budget, but House Republicans want 
     deeper cuts.
       While cuts and tax increases are necessary to address the 
     nation's long-term fiscal problems, cutting too deeply before 
     the economy is in full expansion would add unnecessary risk.
        The House Republicans' proposal would reduce 2011 real GDP 
     growth by 0.5% and 2012 growth by 0.2 percentage points. This 
     would mean some 400,000 fewer jobs created by the end of 2011 
     and 700,000 fewer jobs by the end of 2012.
        A government shutdown lasting longer than a couple of 
     weeks would do much more damage to the economy.
        Lawmakers are likely to split the difference between the 
     administration and House Republican proposals. This isn't 
     ideal fiscal policy, but the economy will be able to manage 
     through it.
        A compromise could send an encouraging signal about the 
     more serious budget battles to come.
       The political war is intensifying over the federal budget. 
     Lawmakers are at loggerheads over how to cut government 
     spending, raising prospects that government services will 
     halt temporarily while the debate is resolved. Significant 
     government spending restraint is vital, but given the 
     economy's halting recovery, it would be counterproductive for 
     that restraint to begin until the U.S. is creating enough 
     jobs to lower the unemployment rate. Shutting the government 
     for long would put the recovery at risk, not only because of 
     the disruption to public services but also because of the 
     potential damage to consumer, business and investor 
     confidence.


                    The near-term fight over funding

       Washington's most immediate battle is over near-term 
     government spending. The catalyst is the chance of a federal 
     shutdown March 4, when current funding will run out. The 
     Obama administration's recently unveiled budget plan calls 
     for significant spending restraint through the remainder of 
     this fiscal year, but House Republicans want even greater 
     cuts. Their proposal would cut spending by about $100 billion 
     more than in the administration's plan and would put spending 
     $60 billion below fiscal 2010 levels.
       It is laudable that policymakers are focused on reining in 
     government spending. Much greater cuts will be needed, along 
     with tax increases, to address the nation's daunting long-
     term fiscal challenges. Even under the most optimistic 
     assumptions, the current fiscal year's deficit will exceed 
     $1.3 trillion, equal to 9% of GDP. If the economy continues 
     to improve as anticipated, and there are no significant 
     policy changes, the deficit will shrink over the next few 
     years, settling around a level equal to 5% of GDP. This is 
     the so-called structural budget deficit. Left alone, it will 
     cause interest payments on the nation's debt to balloon, 
     producing a fiscal crisis. Policymakers will eventually need 
     to cut annual spending and/or raise taxes to shrink the 
     deficit by $400 billion, bringing it down to a sustainable 
     level at no more than 2.5% of GDP.


                       Too much cutting too soon

       While long-term government spending restraint is vital, and 
     laying out a credible path toward that restraint very 
     desirable, too much cutting too soon would be 
     counterproductive. The economy is much improved and should 
     continue to gain traction, but the coast is not clear; it 
     won't be until businesses begin hiring aggressively enough to 
     meaningfully lower the still-high unemployment rate. The 
     economy is adding between 100,000 and 150,000 per month--but 
     it must add closer to 200,000 jobs per month before we can 
     say the economy is truly expanding again. Imposing additional 
     government spending cuts before this has happened, as House 
     Republicans want, would be taking an unnecessary chance with 
     the recovery.
       This is particularly true given the added threat presented 
     by rising oil prices. Unrest in the Middle East has pushed up 
     the price of crude oil by about $10 per barrel; West Texas 
     Intermediate is selling for almost $100 per barrel, and a 
     gallon of regular unleaded gasoline has risen to about $3.25 
     nationwide. If sustained, these prices will shave about 0.2% 
     from real GDP growth in 2011, a disappointing but manageable 
     outcome. If oil prices approach $125 barrel, and gasoline 
     reaches $4 per gallon, growth will slow sharply and 
     unemployment will begin rising again. Should fuel prices 
     return to their all-time high near $150 per barrel for oil 
     and $4.50 per gallon for gasoline, the economy would sink 
     back into recession. Such a price spike seems unlikely, but 
     handicapping events in the Middle East with any precision is 
     practically impossible.


                       Policy at odds with itself

       Additional spending cuts would also be at cross-purposes 
     with the government's other economic policies. The Federal 
     Reserve is holding short-term interest rates close to zero 
     and purchasing hundreds of billions of dollars in long-term 
     Treasury bonds, in an effort to hold down long-term interest 
     rates. The Fed's credit-easing efforts are scheduled to 
     continue through June, and the central bank is likely keep 
     interest rates near zero through 2011. Monetary authorities 
     clearly remain nervous about the economy's near-term 
     prospects.
       The tax cuts and benefit extensions lawmakers agreed to 
     late in 2010 are also providing substantial temporary support 
     to the economy. In addition to extending marginal personal 
     tax rates for two years, the deal provided for a 2% payroll 
     tax holiday in 2011, an extension of emergency unemployment 
     insurance benefits through the end of the year, and--perhaps 
     least appreciated in terms of its economic impact--the 
     expensing of all business investment this year. The deal 
     ensured that fiscal policy, which would have significantly 
     weighed on the economy in 2011, will be largely neutral 
     instead. Fiscal restraint was appropriately put off until 
     2012, when the expansion is likely to be in full swing.
       While the government spending cuts proposed by House 
     Republicans for this fiscal year mean only modest fiscal 
     restraint, this restraint is meaningful. If fully adopted, 
     the cuts would shave almost half a percentage point from real 
     GDP growth in 2011 and another 0.2 percentage point in 2012. 
     There would be almost 400,000 fewer U.S. jobs by the end of 
     2011 than without the cuts and some 700,000 fewer jobs by the 
     end of 2012. The fallout will extend into next year because 
     it takes time for budget cuts to filter through the economy. 
     In all likelihood, the proposed House cuts would not 
     undermine the current recovery; still, it is not necessary to 
     take the chance.


                          No crowding out yet

       This wouldn't be true if the current budget deficits were 
     crowding out private investment, but they aren't. Business 
     demand for credit has recovered modestly, and households 
     continue to lower their debt obligations. Interest rates also 
     remain extraordinarily low. Some of this is due to the Fed's 
     credit easing, but global investors also remain willing 
     buyers of U.S. debt even at low interest rates. Ten-year 
     Treasury bonds are yielding 3.5%, fixed mortgage rates are 
     near 5%, and borrowing costs for below-investment grade, or 
     ``junk'', corporate bonds are 8%--about as low as they have 
     ever been. Global investors won't remain avid buyers of U.S. 
     debt for long if policymakers don't tackle the nation's long-
     term fiscal problems; yet markets today appear unconcerned 
     about the near-term deficits.
       This could change if policymakers remain deadlocked and the 
     government suffers a prolonged shutdown. The 1995-1996 
     experience suggests that a brief shutdown need not be 
     disruptive; in those years, nonessential functions of the 
     government were stopped briefly twice after the Clinton 
     administration and the Newt Gingrich-led House reached an 
     impasse. By that measure, a week-long shutdown in mid-March 
     of 2011 would cost the economy about 0.2% in annualized real 
     growth in the first quarter. Growth would rebound in the 
     second quarter, and there would be no discernible impact by 
     year's end.
       A shutdown that lasted into April would be a problem, 
     however. Not only would this disrupt a wide range of 
     government operations and significantly cut the output of 
     government workers, but the hit to confidence

[[Page H2006]]

     could be serious. Consumer, business and investor sentiment 
     is much improved from the depths of the recession, but it 
     remains extraordinarily fragile. A government shutdown 
     lasting more than a week or two could easily undermine 
     confidence as questions grow about policymakers' ability to 
     govern. This would be fodder for a new recession.


                        Hitting the debt ceiling

       Even more disconcerting would be a shutdown emerging from 
     an impasse about the federal debt ceiling. Judging from the 
     Treasury's near-term financing needs, the current debt 
     ceiling will become a binding constraint on government 
     operations no later than June. The longer it takes Congress 
     to raise the ceiling, the greater the fallout on financial 
     markets and the economy. Global investors who own Treasury 
     debt will receive their interest and principal payments, but, 
     the spectacle of legislative gridlock on this issue may 
     convince markets that U.S. policymakers will have even more 
     trouble making hard future policy choices. Interest rates 
     could spike, stock prices and the value of the U.S. dollar 
     could fall, and the economy would suffer severe harm.
       While these dark scenarios highlight the threat of a 
     serious policy misstep in the next several weeks, the very 
     seriousness of the threat improves chances that policymakers 
     will come to terms. The most likely scenario is thus a 
     political compromise that roughly splits the difference 
     between the administration and House Republican proposals, 
     with spending cuts in fiscal 2011 of closer to $30 billion.
       This isn't ideal fiscal policy, but the economy will be 
     able to manage through it. And if the compromise is reached 
     relatively gracefully, it could send an encouraging signal 
     that policymakers can navigate the much more difficult budget 
     battles still to come.
                                  ____


                             Goldman Sachs

                           (By Alec Phillips)

       Proposals to cut federal spending, the possibility of a 
     government shutdown, and the escalated debate over state 
     employee compensation has increased interest in the effect of 
     fiscal policy on growth, after last year's fiscal package 
     briefly neutralized the expected drag from federal fiscal 
     policy.
       Federal spending cuts deserve the most attention. They are 
     the most likely of these issues to occur, and could have the 
     largest magnitude. The assumption we incorporated into our 
     recently revised budget estimates--discretionary spending 
     cuts of $25bn and $50bn below the CBO baseline for FY2011 and 
     FY2012 respectively--would shave nearly one percentage point 
     off of the annualized rate of real GDP growth in Q2, but 
     would fade quickly with a negligible effect on growth by 
     year-end.
       The related risk of a temporary federal government shutdown 
     could also lead to a fiscal drag on growth, but this appears 
     to be a lower probability scenario. We estimate that each 
     week that the federal government is shut down would reduce 
     federal spending by around $8bn, and could reduce real GDP 
     growth by as much as 0.8 pp at an annualized rate in the 
     quarter it occurred, but would provide a lift to growth in 
     the following quarter as federal activity returned to the 
     previous level.
       The policies that several state governments are debating 
     related to state employee compensation and organization 
     appear to have--at least in the short term--little potential 
     macroeconomic effect. We assume that state governments will 
     cut spending or raise taxes no more than necessary to balance 
     their budgets. This amount will be determined by the level of 
     tax receipts available to pay for spending, not political 
     negotiations.
       Fiscal drag is quickly reemerging as a focus, only a couple 
     of months after an agreement to extend tax cuts and 
     unemployment benefits appeared to have neutralized most of 
     the drag from federal fiscal policy for most of 2011. We see 
     federal spending cuts as the most important near-term risk 
     The possibility of a government shutdown is a significant but 
     less likely factor, while the debate over state employee 
     compensation seems unlikely to have a meaningful near-term 
     macroeconomic effect:
       Federal spending cuts would result in additional fiscal 
     drag: In our recently updated budget deficit estimates, we 
     have assumed that Congress will reduce discretionary spending 
     by $25bn below the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) 
     baseline for FY2011, and another $25bn (for a total of $50bn 
     below the baseline) for FY2012 (for more on these assumptions 
     and our budget estimates, see ``The US Budget Outlook: 
     Better, but Not Good Enough,'' US Economics Analyst 11/05, 
     February 4, 2011). By contrast, the House of Representatives 
     passed legislation over the weekend to cut spending for 
     FY2011 by $60bn from current levels (the House hasn't yet 
     addressed FY2012). Both scenarios would add to the drag from 
     federal fiscal policy on growth:
       1. The modest spending cuts we assume in our own budget 
     forecast would lead to renewed fiscal drag. Since spending 
     cuts could be enacted no earlier than next month, when the 
     current fiscal year will be nearly half over, $25bn in cuts 
     would require spending in the second half of FY2011 to be 
     reduced by $50bn at an annual rate. Since the cut would be 
     phased in abruptly, it could result in a drag on growth in Q2 
     by as much as one percentage point (pp), but would quickly 
     fade over the next two quarters as spending stabilizes at a 
     lower level, with little effect versus current policy on the 
     rate of real GDP growth by year end.
       2. The spending cut package that passed the House of 
     Representatives would have a deeper effect. Under the House 
     passed spending bill, the drag on GDP growth from federal 
     fiscal policy would increase by 1.5pp to 2pp in Q2 and Q3 
     compared with current law. However, we don't see this 
     scenario as likely; while we expect discretionary spending to 
     be cut, the current House proposal doesn't appear viable in 
     the Senate, and the president has already threatened a veto.
       A federal shutdown poses less risk, as long as it is brief. 
     A federal shutdown can potentially occur when one or more of 
     the 12 annual appropriations bills have not been enacted for 
     the current fiscal year. Usually, Congress provides temporary 
     funding through a ``continuing resolution'' (CR) until 
     appropriations have been enacted, but from time to time, 
     particularly when control of government is divided, this does 
     not happen and funding lapses. When this occurs, any agency 
     or cabinet department without funding in place for the 
     current fiscal year must cease non-essential operations. So 
     far, Congress has not enacted any of the annual 
     appropriations bills for the fiscal year that began October 
     1, so a shutdown would affect virtually all non-essential 
     programs. That said, the potential for a federal shutdown 
     probably does not present a major risk:
       1. While the possibility of a shutdown is real, it isn't 
     that likely. We wrote more extensively on the key fiscal 
     developments over the next few months last week (see ``The 
     Federal Budget Process Gets Underway,'' US Daily, February 
     17, 2011). The bottom line is that while rhetoric has 
     escalated regarding spending cuts and the threat of a 
     shutdown, we expect both sides to try to avoid one if 
     possible, with the most likely solution appearing to be a 
     short-term extension of funding at slightly reduced levels.
       2. The effect of a shutdown is narrower than the term 
     implies. Even in the most protracted government shutdown to 
     date, from November 13 to 19, 1995 and again from December 
     15, 1995 to January 6, 1996, the majority of federal 
     employees kept working. In the first episode in November 
     1995, about 40% of federal employees excluding the postal 
     service were furloughed; in the December lapse the share of 
     furloughed employees dropped to less than 15%, since Congress 
     had managed to enact some appropriations legislation between 
     the two shutdowns. If a shutdown occurred next month, it 
     would probably affect nearly all agencies and departments, 
     since no appropriations legislation has been enacted so far 
     this year. But even so, this would imply that only around 40% 
     of federal employees would be affected.
       3. A shutdown lasting more than a week could be meaningful. 
     If Congress fails to renew the continuing resolution that is 
     set to expire on March 4, the lapse seems likely to be fairly 
     short. After all, there have been several short government 
     shutdowns over the last few decades, but only two lasting 
     more than three days. But a lapse of more than a few days, 
     particularly toward the end of the quarter, could be more 
     important. If funding lapsed, non-essential services would 
     shut down immediately, representing around $8bn per week in 
     missed federal spending, assuming that 40% of federal 
     employees (not including the postal service) and their 
     activities are deemed non-essential. This would equate to 
     $32bn in annualized terms, or around 0.2% of GDP for each 
     week of shutdown. Pulling this spending out of Q2 would 
     reduce the contribution to quarterly GDP growth from federal 
     activity by a little over 0.8pp at an annualized rate for 
     each week the shutdown lasted, though if the shutdown ended 
     long enough before the end of the quarter it is quite 
     possible that some of the missed activity could be made up, 
     reducing the overall hit to growth. Otherwise, the return to 
     previous spending levels following a one-week shutdown would 
     actually increase growth in the following quarter by 0.5pp 
     and by smaller amounts in subsequent quarters until most of 
     the effect is reversed.
       State budget negotiations seem likely to have the least 
     effect: Debate over state employee compensation and the 
     related issue of collective bargaining and other 
     organizational issues among state employee unions have begun 
     to make headlines in a number of states--Wisconsin, Ohio, and 
     Indiana are the latest. While these issues are important for 
     the longer-run fiscal health of state and local governments, 
     in the short-term their balanced budget requirements make 
     revenue shortfalls the most important factor driving their 
     fiscal stance over the coming fiscal year (for most states, 
     this begins in July). Political decisions will determine how 
     spending cuts are distributed, and will also determine the 
     mix of tax hikes and spending cuts, but are much less likely 
     to change the overall amount of tightening that will occur. 
     So while we continue to expect around 0.5pp in drag this year 
     from state and local fiscal retrenchment, recent developments 
     don't seem likely to change this in either direction.


                         Parliamentary Inquiry

  Mr. ELLISON. Mr. Chairman, I have a parliamentary inquiry.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman will state his parliamentary inquiry.
  Mr. ELLISON. Does the author of the amendment need to be on the floor 
for his amendment?
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from New York had yielded back all of his 
time.
  Mr. ELLISON. So what is the answer to the question? Is that ``no''?

[[Page H2007]]

  The CHAIR. The gentleman had no time remaining.
  Mr. ELLISON. I reserve the balance of my time.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from Minnesota has the only time remaining.
  Mr. ELLISON. Well, let me close, then.
  We've seen 13 weeks of the Republican majority. The American people 
made changes and expected jobs. They've gotten zero jobs bills at all. 
What they've seen is a Republican agenda that cuts 1 million jobs, cuts 
1 million jobs, and on this critical issue of Americans keeping their 
homes, the Republican majority has nothing but to take away the small 
programs that exist. This is a shame, and I hope the American people 
are watching this debate today, Mr. Chairman.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman 
from New York (Mr. Hanna).
  The question was taken; and the Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mrs. BIGGERT. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further proceedings on 
the amendment offered by the gentleman from New York will be postponed.


                 Amendment No. 2 Offered by Mr. Ellison

  The CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 2 printed in 
part A of House Report 112-34.
  Mr. ELLISON. Mr. Chairman, Congressman Quigley has an amendment at 
the desk, and I rise to offer his amendment on his behalf.
  The CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 4, after line 6, insert the following new section (and 
     redesignate the succeeding sections accordingly):

     SEC. 2. CONGRESSIONAL FINDINGS.

       The Congress finds that--
       (1) the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) was 
     first announced in February 2009 and became active in March 
     2009;
       (2) HAMP provides financial incentives to mortgage 
     servicers, borrowers, and investors to facilitate mortgage 
     modifications that lower borrowers' monthly mortgage payments 
     to no more than 31 percent of their monthly income;
       (3) as of February 25, 2011, $1.04 billion of HAMP funding 
     has been disbursed;
       (4) as of January 31, 2011, there were 539,493 active 
     permanent modifications and 145,260 active trial 
     modifications, for a total of 684,753 currently active 
     modifications; and
       (5) each currently active modification has cost the 
     Department of Treasury approximately $1,518.80.

  The CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 170, the gentleman from 
Minnesota (Mr. Ellison) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Minnesota.
  Mr. ELLISON. I yield myself as much time as I may consume.
  Mr. Chairman, it's important that the American people are well aware 
that the Republican majority has had 13 weeks to introduce some kind of 
jobs bill, and they have introduced exactly none. Instead, what they've 
done is, we read the Constitution, and that's good except for we should 
probably do it on our own time. And then we have pursued an effort to 
cut American jobs, and now that we're dealing with housing programs, in 
the midst of the worst foreclosure crisis since the Great Depression, 
the Republican majority has nothing to offer except to take away the 
little program that does work.
  The Republican majority's quick to say, oh, those 600,000 people who 
did get a modification, that's nothing, but to those people that's a 
lot. To those people, that's home. A responsible majority would say, 
well, how can we double the numbers, how can we triple them, how can we 
help Americans stay in their homes? But that's not what we have.
  What we have today in America's Congress is a Republican plan to 
foreclose on the American dream. And so Congressman Quigley offers some 
very commonsense findings that should be contained within this 
legislation that point out the fact that as of February 25, $1.04 
billion of HAMP funding has been disbursed; that as of January 31, 
there have been about 500,000-plus active and permanent modifications, 
about another 145,000 active trial modifications, for a total of well 
over 600,000 currently active modifications. The record should reflect 
that, Mr. Chairman, because the record should tell the truth. The 
record should tell the truth, yes, about problems that need fixing but 
also about the success that has happened.
  It's a shame if we can't pass this very simple commonsense amendment, 
and we need to pass it today.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McHENRY. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from North Carolina is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. McHENRY. Well, let's talk about the substance of the amendment. 
If the sponsor will not, I intend to. The sponsor of the amendment and 
the amendment here says that it costs about $1,500 per mortgage 
modification. That is, in fact, not the case. The substance of this 
amendment is extremely deceptive and flawed. In fact, the statistics 
used within it are not even the dissenting views of the Democrats on 
the Financial Services Committee. They're not even the views of the 
Treasury Department. The Treasury Department testified in front of the 
Congressional Oversight Panel and said that the permanent modifications 
under HAMP would cost about $20,000. This amendment says $1,500. On its 
face it's false. I would encourage my colleagues to vote against it.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ELLISON. To clearly correct the record, paragraph 5 says each 
current active modification has cost the Department of the Treasury 
approximately $1,518. That's an accurate statement, and I think the 
gentleman ought to read the documentation much more clearly because, to 
date, that has been the cost, and it's an accurate statement.
  But my question is even deeper than that. What is the Republican 
majority going to do about the massive foreclosure crisis in America 
today? My question is, do you all stand by the proposition that it's 
just laissez faire economics, and that while we have socialism for the 
banks, we have hardcore capitalism for the American people? That's the 
question I'd like to hear the majority answer today. But this is an 
accurate statement. This has been, up till now, the existing cost of 
Mr. Quigley's amendment for each modification.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McHENRY. I would say that his dissenting views are dissenting 
from the ranking member of Financial Services, Mr. Frank and his staff. 
$7,500 is what they claim. The Treasury Department claims $20,000.
  My colleague also said that this is a little program. That's 
absolutely absurd, Mr. Chairman. That's absurd. It's a $29.5 billion 
program of our taxpayer dollars. But you know, I think he needs to 
understand something, and my colleague needs to understand what this 
program is actually doing to people.
  You ask my constituent from Hickory who is in the HAMP program: We've 
been in the HAMP program since February of 2010 and still have no 
answer. We're being charged late fees, and we've been reported to the 
credit bureau. We've been in underwater since April and on trial 
payments for 6 months, which is only supposed to have been 3 months. 
We've not received an answer.
  Another constituent from Stanley said, We've paid payments every 
month, but now we're being told we're behind in payments because it was 
not the original monthly amount on our original loan, but it's the 
amount we were told to pay in 2010. How can we be behind?
  I've heard from constituents that tell the same story. It is reduced 
monthly trial payments. They've been rejected due to eligibility issues 
or lost documentation. By payments being reduced in the trial payment 
period, they've ended up defaulting on their mortgage. This is a 
Federal program that's actively harmed them.

                              {time}  1550

  I would ask my colleague to look at the substance of the facts of 
this program and admit it's been a failure and vote to repeal and end 
this program.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ELLISON. Mr. Chairman, I would like to point out that, in fact, 
the number $1,518 is accurate for the cost up until to date. That's how 
much the program has cost. Projected costs are a different matter. And 
I think if the

[[Page H2008]]

gentleman digs into the facts, he'll learn that.
  But, again, let's talk about the bigger issue at work here. We're 
talking about a system in which, under Republican control, we have not 
regulated markets, have not pursued consumer protection, consumers 
getting into no-doc, low-doc loans, being taken advantage of by 
unscrupulous individuals whom the Republican majority refused to 
regulate. Under Republican majorities in Congress and in the White 
House, this chicken has come home to roost and has wreaked havoc on the 
American economy. And instead of trying to do something about it, the 
Republican majority is not doing anything about it.
  It's one thing to get up here and say: You know what? That program 
isn't working very well, and here's somebody who thinks it doesn't work 
well. I'm quite sure that that story you read is probably true; but, 
you know what? There are a lot of people whom it did help. And more 
than that, why don't we fix it? What is the majority's program to deal 
with foreclosure? Do they have one, or do they just have criticism for 
what other people propose?
  It's easy to be a critic. I'd rather write a critique to a movie than 
make one. I think making one is tougher, even a bad one. But being a 
critic is always easy, and the worst movie is better than the best 
review.
  So let me just say, the Republican majority has a responsibility to 
respond to the American people. They have a responsibility to do 
something about foreclosures. And I'm hoping to hear somewhere, 
sometime, today, that they're ready to do something in favor of the 
American people.
  The Republican no-jobs agenda has been exposed, Mr. Chair. The 
American people know they haven't done anything to create jobs or to 
protect homes. All they want to do is criticize programs that could use 
some improvement. They'd rather just get rid of them altogether.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. McHENRY. I would say, Mr. Chairman, my colleague is right. It is 
easy to be a critic of this program because it is an epic failure.
  I yield such time as she may consume to my colleague from Illinois 
(Mrs. Biggert).
  Mrs. BIGGERT. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  We keep talking about jobs, jobs, jobs. We've talked about that for 
several years now--jobs, jobs, jobs. What we are trying to do is to 
create an environment that we will be able to have the private sector 
create the jobs.
  We need to stop funding programs that don't work with money that we 
don't have. And out-of-control Federal spending is hurting our economic 
recovery so that we can have those jobs. We've got a $14.2 trillion 
national debt. And economists agree that reducing government spending 
will create a more favorable environment for private sector growth and 
the ability to create jobs. We've got so much uncertainty there right 
now that we have got to stop the spending and stop the taxing and all 
the things that could happen.
  So exactly what unemployed Americans want and what homeowners want 
and need is a job and a paycheck, not a handout or another failed 
taxpayer-paid government program.
  I would urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment and stop talking 
about the jobs. Let's focus on the substance of these amendments.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from North Carolina has 15 seconds 
remaining.
  Mr. McHENRY. In closing, Mr. Chair, I would encourage my colleagues 
to understand that when government taxes more and spends more, it 
crowds out private sector job creation and growth. We're about growing 
jobs in this Congress, and I urge my colleagues to get on board.
  The CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman 
from Minnesota (Mr. Ellison).
  The amendment was rejected.


                 Amendment No. 3 Offered by Mr. Canseco

  The CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 3 printed in 
part A of House Report 112-34.
  Mr. CANSECO. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment made in order under 
the rule.
  The CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 5, after line 3, insert the following new paragraph:
       ``(3) Deficit reduction.--
       ``(A) Use of unobligated funds.--Notwithstanding any other 
     provision of this title, the amounts described in 
     subparagraph (B) shall not be available after the date of the 
     enactment of this subsection for obligation or expenditure 
     under the Home Affordable Modification Program of the 
     Secretary, but should be covered into the General Fund of the 
     Treasury and should be used only for reducing the budget 
     deficit of the Federal Government.
       ``(B) Identification of unobligated funds.--The amounts 
     described in this subparagraph are any amounts made available 
     under title I of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 
     2008 that--
       ``(i) have been allocated for use, but not yet obligated as 
     of the date of the enactment of this subsection, under the 
     Home Affordable Modification Program of the Secretary; and
       ``(ii) are not necessary for providing assistance under 
     such Program on behalf of homeowners who, pursuant to 
     paragraph (2), may be provided assistance after the date of 
     the enactment of this subsection.''.
       Page 5, line 4, strike ``(3)'' and insert ``(4)''.
       Page 6, line 13, strike ``(4)'' and insert ``(5)''.

  The CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 170, the gentleman from Texas 
(Mr. Canseco) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas.
  Mr. CANSECO. I thank my colleague from North Carolina (Mr. McHenry) 
for offering this bill that eliminates a wasteful and ineffective 
program.
  Mr. Chairman, I am offering an amendment to this bill that will 
ensure that every dime of savings that comes from terminating the 
program will go back to the Treasury to reduce the debt of our country.
  Our country finds itself in the middle of a spending-driven fiscal 
crisis. And back in November, the American people sent a message that 
was loud and clear: Stop the out-of-control spending in Washington.
  For 2 years, the motto in Washington was ``spend now, worry later.'' 
This is unfair to future generations who will inherit a bankrupt 
country if we don't act.
  It's only appropriate that we in this Congress begin our work by 
cutting programs that simply don't work. The Home Affordable 
Modification Program, or HAMP, has hurt the very people it was intended 
to help by giving them false hope.
  In his most recent quarterly report to Congress, the Inspector 
General of TARP stated that the HAMP program ``continues to fall 
dramatically short of any meaningful standard of success.'' That, Mr. 
Chairman, is Washington-speak for ``failure.''
  The program has done nothing to halt foreclosures. In fact, home 
foreclosures in the United States have risen from 2.3 million in 2008 
to 2.9 million in 2010. HAMP is not only a bad deal for homeowners, 
it's a bad deal for taxpayers as well. Every child born in America 
today is responsible for over $45,000 of our national debt. It is 
simply unacceptable for Washington to continue spending money on a 
program that doesn't work.
  For 2 years, Washington acted as if it didn't have a spending 
problem. And as we look around the world at countries who now find 
themselves in fiscal nightmares because of out-of-control government, 
we have to take a look in the mirror.
  The most dangerous words in America right now are ``it can't happen 
here,'' but just take a look at the facts:
  Moody's has recently downgraded the debt of Spain, a country that is 
expected to run a budget deficit equal to 6 percent of GDP in 2011;
  Today, Portugal and Greece were downgraded by the S because of 
overspending and budget deficits;
  And now the United States is expected to run a much greater deficit 
of 9.8 percent of GDP in 2011;
  Admiral Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has stated 
that the most significant threat to our Nation and our national 
security is our debt.
  So make no mistake about it: It can happen here, and it will happen 
here unless something is done.
  I just returned from a constituent workweek in my district, the 23d 
District of Texas. I had many town hall meetings and conversations with 
constituents, and all the while I heard

[[Page H2009]]

over and over again their concerns of our exploding national debt.

                              {time}  1600

  Speaking with one constituent, who is an example of every constituent 
that I spoke to, Will and Debbie Brenson, are most concerned about 
their grandchildren, Katlin and Taylor, what kind of a country are they 
going to inherit, certainly, not with the opportunities that they had 
to build their small business in Fair Oaks, Texas.
  If we don't change course, we will be guilty of committing an 
intergenerational theft, the likes of which no country has ever seen. 
We'll be the first generation of Americans to ever leave the next 
generation with a diminished future.
  My colleagues on the other side of the aisle often feel that only 
government can steer our economy on the right course, but we now know 
just how wrong that argument is. Unemployment is at an unacceptable 8.9 
percent, and over 13 million Americans remain unemployed.
  We are on track for our third straight $1 trillion deficit, and we 
don't have much to show for it. We have to put an end to wasteful 
spending, and we must reduce the debt for future generations.
  Mr. McHenry's bill, and my amendment, with them we will stop wasting 
taxpayer dollars on failing programs and ensure that any savings from 
termination are not recycled into yet another program. The savings will 
go towards paying down our country's exploding debt.
  I urge passage of my amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Chairman, I have the right to close, 
and I am my only speaker.
  The CHAIR. Does the gentleman wish to claim time in opposition?
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Yes, I claim the time in opposition, and 
I'm the only speaker, so I will reserve my time.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from Massachusetts has the only time 
remaining.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Has the gentleman used up all the time?
  The CHAIR. The time of the gentleman from Texas has expired.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. I apologize. I heard him say reserve, and 
I misunderstood that.
  I will say about this amendment that it is harmless and perfectly 
okay for people to claim credit for what's already been done, kind of 
like going to a taxidermist and shooting the bear.
  If this amendment didn't happen, the same result would be there. But 
here's the result: temporarily this comes out of tax funds. But because 
it's TARP money, it's subject to a--and by the way, we passed an 
amendment that says it goes back to the Treasury temporarily.
  I say ``temporarily'' because over Republican objections, and I hope 
they're going to relent in these, we put into the TARP legislation 
language that says that in 2013 whatever hasn't been paid back from the 
TARP to the general Treasury will be assessed to financial 
institutions.
  What that means is that if this does have a net cost to the Treasury, 
in 2013 the President in power at that time will be directed to send us 
legislation to require that this come out of the large financial 
institutions, that is, nothing from the Treasury.
  Now, I say I'm worried about it because we've had two further 
instances of this which the Republicans have opposed. We've just had a 
package of four bills. Two of them came out of the financial reform 
bill, their financing did: help for the unemployed homeowners and the 
neighborhood stabilization program.
  In the version of the bill that we put first in the conference, that 
money was to be recovered by an assessment on banks with $50 billion or 
more and hedge funds with $10 billion or more; and Republican 
opposition to it killed it.
  So, yes, it is true that temporarily, now, the unemployed homeowners 
and the neighborhood stabilization come out of the Treasury. We have 
filed legislation, and I just refiled it last week, but it goes back to 
where we were in July that would take it from the large financial 
institutions.
  Similarly, by the way, in the financial reform bill we had a 
provision that said, over Republican objections, that the FDIC would 
immediately assess the amount that we thought we would need for the 
TARP on the large financial institutions.
  So let's be very clear. If we carry out our promises and commitments, 
this money will not come out of the taxpayer; it will come out of the 
TARP. It will come out of the large financial institutions.
  I can't say the same for certain other wasteful spending. Members on 
the other side insisted, for example, in overriding the objection of 
Secretary Gates to the second engine. Now, the gentleman from Texas 
voted with Secretary Gates and me, and I appreciate that.
  But a majority of Republicans voted to give him the second engine, 
even though he said he'd tell the President to veto the bill. People 
disregarded, a majority in the House, on both sides, the request that 
the Osprey be killed.
  In other words, people cite Secretary Gates and cite Admiral Mullen, 
but we still hear on the Republican side criticism of them for trying 
to live up to their own words when they say, well, we're going to limit 
military spending.
  I don't think it is a reasonable policy to cite their worries about 
the deficit and then override them in specific cases. And we also have, 
of course--and here the Pentagon wanted it, I think they were wrong--
$1.2 billion my colleagues voted for--I voted against it--to spend 
money to build up the security forces of Iraq. You talk about money not 
being well spent. At its worst, I cannot imagine anyone thinking that 
any foreclosure program here would be spent worse than it is being 
spent in Iraq.
  By the way, the Inspector General did say he was critical of the 
program. When asked by the gentleman's Texas colleague, Mr. Green of 
Houston, he said, no, he would not abolish it. He specifically said he 
wouldn't abolish it. He was asked that in the hearing and said no.
  And we have consistently heard from the other side a statistic they 
have never yet validated, that more people were harmed than helped. 
None of the people they quote say that.
  Yes, it's a program that's difficult because we wouldn't do 
bankruptcy and we have left the voluntary decision in the hands of the 
private sector. That's why this argument that the private sector can do 
it better is so nonsensical. It is the refusal of the private sector to 
fully participate in this program in its full spirit that's been the 
problem.
  Mr. CANSECO. Will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. I yield to the gentleman from Texas.
  Mr. CANSECO. Are you in favor of the amendment or opposed to the 
amendment?
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. I am indifferent. Well, I'm against the 
amendment. I take it back. I am against the amendment because I had to 
be against the amendment to get the time to speak. So I am against the 
amendment.
  But I'm not against the amendment on substantive grounds. I'm against 
it on aesthetic grounds. I hate to clutter things up with an amendment 
that doesn't do anything.
  Well, let me go back to the substance. The substance is that we have 
a false claim that this is because of the taxpayers, when the TARP will 
make sure that it doesn't come out of the taxpayers, the TARP 
legislation.
  And Members who vote to send money, $1.2 billion, to build up the 
security forces of Iraq, please don't have them tell me, Mr. Chairman, 
that they're for efficient spending. The security forces in Iraq.
  How about Afghan infrastructure? The majority voted to send money to 
Afghanistan for infrastructure. There is a great mark of efficiency.
  The CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman 
from Texas (Mr. Canseco).
  The amendment was agreed to.


        Amendment No. 4 Offered by Mr. Miller of North Carolina

  The CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 4 printed in 
part A of House Report 112-34.
  Mr. MILLER of North Carolina. Mr. Chair, I seek to offer the 
amendment as the designee of Mr. Inslee of Washington.
  The CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.

[[Page H2010]]

  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 5, line 6, before the period insert ``, Effectiveness 
     of Program, and Replacement Program''.
       Page 5, line 8, before ``determine'' insert ``(i)''.
       Page 5, line 9, after ``by'' insert ``homeowners meeting 
     the criteria under the terms of such Program for eligibility 
     for assistance under such Program, the effectiveness of such 
     Program, and the impact of such Program on such eligible 
     homeowners, including the extent of usage by''.
       Page 5, line 11, before the period insert the following: 
     ``, (ii) identify improvements to the Program and best 
     practices under the Program, and (iii) determine the need, 
     and appropriate guidelines and standards, for a mortgage 
     modification program of the Secretary to replace the Home 
     Affordable Modification Program that is (I) based on the 
     guidelines and standards for such Program, with appropriate 
     improvements as identified by the study, and (II) available 
     to homeowners who meet the criteria under the terms of such 
     Program for eligibility for assistance under such Program''.
       Page 5, lines 16 and 17, strike ``paragraph (1)'' and 
     insert the following: ``subparagraph (A), identifying the 
     improvements to and best practices under the Home Affordable 
     Modification Program identified pursuant to the study, 
     setting forth the Secretary's determination of the need for, 
     the appropriate guidelines and standards for, the mortgage 
     insurance program determined pursuant to the study,''.
       Page 5, line 21, before the period insert the following: 
     ``and to the mortgage insurance program identified and 
     described pursuant to subparagraph (A)(iii)''.
       Page 6, after line 12, insert the following:
       ``(D) Implementation.--Upon the expiration of the 90-day 
     period beginning upon the submission to the Congress of the 
     report required under subparagraph (B), the Secretary shall, 
     only to the extent that amounts for such purpose are provided 
     in advance in appropriations Acts, implement the mortgage 
     insurance program described in such report pursuant to 
     subparagraph (A)(iii) through issuance of appropriate 
     guidelines and standards set forth in the report.''.

  The CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 170, the gentleman from North 
Carolina (Mr. Miller) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from North Carolina.
  Mr. MILLER of North Carolina. Mr. Chairman, first I want to assure 
the gentleman from Texas that if he's worried about the debt burden 
that children being born today face, with respect to this program, 
unless one of those children takes a job on Wall Street within the next 
two years, like the talking baby in the ETrade ads, they really are not 
going to have to pay for this program. This program is going to come 
from the financial sector. That was a promise made in the TARP 
legislation; and unless they plan to break that promise, and I'm 
beginning to get the feeling that they are, this is not going to be a 
cost borne by innocent taxpayers, but by the industry that created the 
mess.
  Now, many people have criticized the TARP program, including me. The 
Congressional Oversight Panel has; the Special Investigator, Inspector 
General for the TARP program; yes, a lot of people have criticized the 
program.
  Unlike Republicans, a lot of us have been trying to figure out a way 
to make it work. I have offered several suggestions.

                              {time}  1610

  I have criticized it continuously for 2 years and said what we should 
be doing instead, and on what we should be doing instead there has been 
a deafening silence from Republicans.
  We know we can do something. We know we have to do something. The 
foreclosures and the drop in home values are grinding down the middle 
class. The value they have in their home, the equity they have in their 
home is the bulk of their life savings. So when their home goes down in 
value, their life savings go away. We have got to get control of this. 
We know we can make something work because we have the tool. One of the 
most successful programs in the New Deal got control of the foreclosure 
crisis then, and the Federal Government made a profit from the program.
  And there is reason to think that there will be real rules, real 
enforceable rules soon. There are settlement talks pending on 
enforcement action by States Attorney Generals and by the Federal 
agencies for the violations of law by the biggest banks that handled 
most of these mortgages, which Republicans have opposed; and there are 
rules in the offing from the CFPB, the Consumer Financial Protection 
Bureau, which they have also proposed, something that really will make 
this work.
  Mr. Inslee's amendment is much the same. It requires a pullback, a 
hard look at the program and what will make it work, what are the 
guidelines that need to make it work, what are the standards that need 
to make it work, and requires that those suggested changes be 
implemented in the program.
  I urge adoption of the amendment.
  Mr. McHENRY. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from North Carolina is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. McHENRY. I think this is a fundamentally flawed amendment.
  What this amendment essentially does is say that the last agency in 
government that we had asked to conduct a review of this program would 
be in charge of the review of the program and would be in charge of 
designing a new program, even though the previous program they designed 
is flawed and harmful and a failure, and immediately report back to 
Congress a program that is basically the same.
  Look, Ronald Reagan once said: The closest thing to eternal life is a 
Federal program. That quote is this amendment. I ask my colleagues to 
oppose it.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. MILLER of North Carolina. I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. McHENRY. I would say that you read a quote from the Special 
Inspector General from TARP, Mr. Barofsky: ``The basic idea of a well-
run government program is to have clear goals, have a plan to meet 
these goals, measure progress along the way against these goals, change 
your program when necessary so you can still achieve those goals.
  ``But this is how the TARP has been implemented and, in particular, 
this program within TARP: set goals. Ignore goals entirely. Hope for 
the best. When the best is different, change your goals and say you 
never really meant it when you had those goals. Pretend that the 
program is a success, even though it is not meeting these goals.''
  That is Mr. Barofsky's analysis of Treasury's implementation. I would 
ask my colleague, if that is in keeping with his expectations for a new 
government program, then, I would submit, that is what they will come 
up with.
  This Treasury has defended TARP and defended HAMP, and in particular 
HAMP, which has been roundly criticized even by La Raza, which has been 
a tried and true liberal activist for a long time. But Treasury has 
been defending it. Why? I'm not sure. But instead of reforming the 
program, instead of fixing the program, they refuse to do it; and so we 
must end it.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman 
from North Carolina (Mr. Miller).
  The amendment was rejected.


                 Amendment No. 5 Offered by Ms. Waters

  The CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 5 printed in 
part A of House Report 112-34.
  Ms. WATERS. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 7, line 2, strike the last closing quotation marks and 
     the last period.
       Page 7, after line 2, add the following:
       ``(5) Notification to hamp applicants required.--
       ``(A) In general.--Not later than 30 days after the date of 
     the enactment of this subsection, the Secretary of the 
     Treasury shall inform each individual who applied for the 
     Home Affordable Modification Program and will not be 
     considered for a modification under such Program due to 
     termination of such Program under this subsection--
       ``(i) that such Program has been terminated;
       ``(ii) that loan modifications under such Program are no 
     longer available;
       ``(iii) of the name and contact information of such 
     individual's Member of Congress; and
       ``(iv) that the individual should contact his or her Member 
     of Congress to assist the individual in contacting the 
     individual's lender or servicer for the purpose of 
     negotiating or acquiring a loan modification.''.

  The CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 170, the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Waters) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from California.

[[Page H2011]]

  Ms. WATERS. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of my amendment, 
which is a commonsense provision that provides transparency and clarity 
for distressed homeowners.
  My amendment would require the Secretary of the Treasury to send a 
letter to HAMP applicants that they will not be considered for a 
modification due to termination of the program, and that they can 
contact their Member of Congress for assistance in negotiating with or 
acquiring a loan modification from their servicer.
  I raise this amendment because my friends on the opposite side of the 
aisle have the majority in the House, and they will probably prevail on 
this amendment; but I think that we have a responsibility to say to our 
constituents what we are doing and what we are not doing.
  Many of them have just begun to learn about the loan modification 
program, the HAMP program, and all of a sudden it is going to be pulled 
out from under them if this amendment prevails and if it passes on the 
opposite side of the aisle and in the Senate, et cetera; and the 
constituents need to know exactly what we have done.
  Now, I worked with Mr. McHenry on this amendment and we worked out 
some language that he thought was fair, and I believe we do have his 
support. That is not to say that I support the bill because I don't 
support this amendment. I don't support this bill that would literally 
dismantle the HAMP program.
  Yes, there are criticisms about this program. I and others would have 
liked for it to have been broader, for it to have helped more people. 
But don't forget, over 600,000 people have been helped. I know the 
target was 3 million to 4 million people, and we certainly haven't come 
close to that.
  But to do away with this program would leave the American taxpayers 
who have gotten into loans, oftentimes tricked into these loans, misled 
into these loans by the loan initiators, the banks and the mortgage 
companies that told them that they could help them get a mortgage even 
though these were exotic products, these were teaser loans, these were 
no doc loans, these were loans that were going to reset and cause the 
taxpayer to be in a loan that they could not afford.
  Many innocent people trying to live the American Dream signed on the 
dotted line. And also there was a lot of fraud involved where some of 
these loan initiators signed on the dotted line for the homeowner or 
the would-be homeowner. And so we have this crisis, this subprime 
crisis that we have been going through, and there is a lot of misery 
out there, people who were just trying to own a home who now find 
themselves in foreclosure.
  The banks were not helping with loan modification, so we had to come 
up with something. The administration came up with the HAMP program. It 
is a voluntary program. But they signed on to these agreements with the 
banks to say that they would do loan modifications under certain 
conditions. And the administration had to do this because the banks 
were not helping out the homeowners. As a matter of fact, the banks 
said: Well, we don't have anything to do with this anymore. It is up to 
the servicers.
  What a lot of people don't know is who is the servicer. The servicer 
is simply in most cases a company that is owned by the bank. They own 
their own servicing company, which means that once the mortgage is 
signed on by the homeowner, they now give it to this other company that 
they own, these servicers; and the servicers have the responsibility 
for collecting on the mortgage, for collecting on late fees, for 
collecting on attorney fees, and for doing loan modifications. But the 
homeowners couldn't get to them. HAMP is supposed to help them get to 
them.
  These servicers have gotten away with being unregulated for all of 
these years. As a matter of fact, there are no standards for servicers. 
If you call one bank, they will send you to their loss mitigation 
department. What they don't tell you, banks such as Bank of America, 
their loss mitigation is an offshore operation. You may be talking to 
somebody in India who has got this little cookie-cutter sheet which 
says: How much money do you make? How many times have you been late on 
your payment? Let's figure out how not to give you a loan modification, 
but maybe to give you a few months to catch up. But loss mitigation 
means a lot of different things in all of these different banks, if you 
are lucky enough to get to the servicer.
  The CHAIR. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.
  Ms. WATERS. I would just simply ask for support for transparency and 
support to keep this program going.

                              {time}  1620

  Mrs. BIGGERT. I claim the time in opposition, even though I am not 
opposed to the amendment.
  The CHAIR. Without objection, the gentlewoman from Illinois is 
recognized for 5 minutes.
  There was no objection.
  Mrs. BIGGERT. I just have a question for the sponsor of this 
amendment. You have had several amendments in several of these bills, 
and I wanted to make sure this is the same as what you and Mr. McHenry 
agreed to.
  Ms. WATERS. Yes, this is absolutely the same thing we agreed to.
  Mrs. BIGGERT. You are just asking for this amendment, not to change 
the bill or anything?
  Ms. WATERS. I beg your pardon?
  Mrs. BIGGERT. You are just asking for support of this amendment and 
not for anything concerning the bill?
  Ms. WATERS. This amendment is a transparency amendment that I worked 
on with Mr. McHenry, where our constituents would be notified and have 
an opportunity.
  Mrs. BIGGERT. Reclaiming my time, we accept the amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from California (Ms. Waters).
  The amendment was agreed to.


          Amendment No. 6 Offered by Ms. Jackson Lee of Texas

  The CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 6 printed in 
part A of House Report 112-34.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the 
desk.
  The CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Add at the end the following new section:

     SEC. 3. STUDY.

       (a) In General.--Not later than the end of the 60-day 
     period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, 
     the Secretary of the Treasury shall begin a study to identify 
     what aspects of the Home Affordable Modification Program were 
     successful and most effectively carried out the original 
     purpose of the Program.
       (b) Report.--Not later than the end of the 6-month period 
     beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, the 
     Secretary shall issue a report to the Congress containing--
       (1) all findings and determinations made in carrying out 
     the study required under subsection (a); and
       (2) legislative recommendations for a new mortgage 
     modification program that could more successfully and 
     effectively achieve the original purpose of the Home 
     Affordable Modification Program.

  The CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 170, the gentlewoman from 
Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Texas.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. I thank the chairman very much, and I thank 
my colleagues very much as well.
  As we come to the floor of the House, I know that Members on both 
sides of the aisle are committed to knowing the facts. We want to know 
the facts when we go to town hall meetings when our constituents pose 
very deliberative questions. We want to give them numbers. We want to 
be able to reason with them. And one of the deliberative aspects of 
legislation is that you fix it; you don't end it.
  So I rise today to ask my colleagues to support my amendment, an 
amendment that I think makes common sense. It is an amendment that 
thoughtful Members can support. It is an amendment that, whether you 
are Republican or Democrat, you want to know what works.
  My amendment would call on the Secretary of the Treasury to 
commission a study that would identify what aspects of the HAMP program 
were successful and effectively carried out the original intent of the 
program. It would then require the Secretary to issue a report to 
Congress containing all findings and determinations of the

[[Page H2012]]

study and legislative recommendations for a new mortgage modification 
program that could more successfully and effectively achieve the 
original purpose of the Home Affordable Modification Program.
  We have to thank the administration for recognizing that people were 
literally on their knees. There is no doubt that we have different 
philosophies. My friends on the other side of the aisle, they keep 
talking about the deficit and the depressing aspect of the $1 trillion 
debt. We keep talking about invest and grow the economy. When you grow 
the economy, you have the ability to pay down on your debt; you have 
the ability to address the question of the debt ceiling. So my question 
is: Why wouldn't you want to know the best practices?
  Let me give you some of the myths that have been presented. One 
suggestion is that this legislation that we have before us to end the 
HAMP program will prevent another $30 billion from going to one of 
these programs. That is inaccurate. The repeal of this program will, in 
essence, save only $1.437 billion. That is all that it will save. But, 
more importantly, what you will have is you will throw homeowners into 
the streets when the major asset for Americans, middle class, 
hardworking Americans, is their home. Let's find out the best practices 
and make this work.
  The monthly rate of new loan approvals would have to triple in order 
to approximate the amount cited by the chairman of this committee, 
suggesting $30 billion. Actually, we expect the rates are, instead, 
likely to modestly decline. So you are not going to have that much 
savings and it is not going to, in essence, blow up with so many people 
using it that you are going to use this amount of money.
  One Republican has suggested that the program goes to private 
lenders. Well, for every dollar that the HAMP program has paid out, 
homeowners have received from lenders $5 in reduced mortgage payments. 
Most of the program funds do not go to lenders but go directly to 
homeowners as incentives on the on-time mortgage payments. It is giving 
individuals a leg up.
  It is interesting that we would not want to focus on the best 
practices when, if you look at this map, you will see that every single 
State has received a HAMP impact, someone has a mortgage problem that 
the HAMP program has helped.
  Now, can we fix it? Yes, we can make it better. But let me tell you 
about a person by the name of Laurel. She indicated how this program 
has helped her. ``Well, my income has not fully come back.'' She was 
unemployed. ``I am making much less than I was making before, so it has 
been a difficult time. With the modification, my mortgage payment has 
gone down $800 and I am able to make my payment on time. I have been 
able to remain in the home that I love, and that has provided me with 
great stability. I am extremely grateful that I received the 
modification.''
  She has saved an asset that contributes to the economy. What would be 
the result of ending the modification program? I can tell you what the 
result would be. The result would be that Laurel would dump another 
home onto the market that no one could buy, that would bring down the 
quality of the neighborhood and the house appraisal prices of the 
neighborhood and, therefore, add another dent to the economy.
  Invest and grow. And the question is, all of my friends who are there 
on the other side of the aisle, here is a document that is 15 pages 
long that shows that your district, your cities, have been impacted 
positively by the HAMP program. Job growth is picking up. Invest and 
grow jobs should be the mindset of the American Congress, for that is 
what we were sent back to Washington to do.
  There is no doubt that we have a collective commitment to bringing 
down the debt. There is a collective commitment to doing that, and we 
can look reasonably at what and how to do it. But when you don't even 
have the best practices or know why you are repealing something, and 
right now people are in the middle of addressing this question of 
modifying their mortgage.
  I ask my colleagues to support my amendment because it does in fact 
provide a lifeline, and it invests in the economy, creates jobs and 
stabilizes the middle class.
  With regard to the HAMP program, I would like say, ``Mend it, don't 
end it!''
  The HAMP program has not been perfect, but it has helped a 
considerable number of Americans modify their mortgages in order to 
prevent foreclosure and keep their homes and livelihoods that they work 
so hard for day in and day out.
  The White House agrees--The White House has indicated that the 
President will veto the HAMP termination bill if it passes.
  As written, this bill would prohibit new mortgage loan modifications 
under the Home Affordable Modification Program, (HAMP), which is funded 
under authority generally referred to as TARP, pursuant to the 
``Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008'' (also known as EESA). 
Despite termination of the program, this bill would grandfather in 
assistance to homeowners who, prior to the date of enactment, had 
already been extended an offer to participate in HAMP, either on a 
permanent or trial basis.
  I am here before you today to offer an amendment that I believe will 
greatly enhance this bill by making it a vehicle that providing us, the 
Members of Congress, with very useful information. If H.R. 839 were to 
pass, terminating the HAMP program, my amendment would call on the 
Secretary of the Treasury to commission a study that would identify 
what aspects of the HAMP program were successful and effectively 
carried out the original intent of the program.
  It would then require the Secretary to issue a report to Congress 
containing all findings and determinations of the study, and 
legislative recommendations for a new mortgage modification program 
that could more successfully and effectively achieve the original 
purpose of the Home Affordable Modification Program.
  Parliamentarian ruled that the amendment is germane.
  Congressional Budget Office, CBO, found that there is no cost 
associated with my amendment.
  If the HAMP program is terminated, we will still be left to deal with 
the problem of foreclosed homes in a recovering, yet very fragile, 
housing market. With the unemployment rate still hovering at an 
uncomfortably high rate, Americans are still dealing with the 
difficulties of making ends meet. Although our economy is slowly but 
surely on the path to recovery, Americans struggling to find work will 
still be faced with the painful reality of losing their home, although 
now, without an avenue for assistance with refinancing.
  To avoid another slump in the housing market, and to avoid dealing 
yet another blow to our fragile economy, if H.R. 839 becomes law, it 
will be necessary for us to consider a new mortgage refinance and 
modification program in the future to prevent stalling the recovery of 
the housing market, or even worse, allowing it to crumble once again. 
If that day were to come, it would be most useful to have firm facts 
and strong statistics about what methods are proven to be most 
effective in solving the problems associated with high foreclosure 
rates and ensuring that home loan modifications are both permanent and 
successful.
  The HAMP program was put in place by the Obama Administration in 
early 2009 with the intent to modify mortgage loans in order that 
distressed borrowers might have a better chance at making payments and 
holding onto their homes. The program has successfully modified over 
500,000 million mortgages to prevent foreclosure and keep homeowners in 
their homes. While well intentioned HAMP program has encountered some 
difficulties--not yet reaching the goal set by the Obama Administration 
of helping 3 to 4 million homeowners.
  Nonetheless, the program has effectively helped a number of 
homeowners with successful loan modifications that allowed them to keep 
their homes. To date, there are 539,493 homeowners with permanent HAMP 
loan modifications.
  New permanent HAMP modifications have averaged around 29,000 per 
month over the last six months of 2010. Therefore, assuming a modestly 
declining rate from this, a reasonable estimate is that program 
participation will double by the end of next year, for a cumulative 
total of 1.1 million homeowners. Based on this estimate, the bill would 
deny modifications to more than a half million homeowners at risk of 
foreclosure.
  This is a sign, that despite its problems, there are some positive 
and effective aspects of the HAMP program that should be considered 
when we look to replace the HAMP program if H.R. 839 is passed 
terminating this program. My amendment would call for a detailed study 
that would highlight these best practices, while also ensuring that 
those aspects of the program which may have hampered its initial 
success are not repeated.
  There are a number of reasons the program has not met the original 
Obama Administration goal of helping 3 to 4 million homeowners,

[[Page H2013]]

some of which are actually sound and appropriate aspects of the 
program. HAMP appropriately excludes different categories of 
borrowers--including investors, owners of second homes, homeowners 
whose mortgages are unsustainable even with HAMP assistance, and 
homeowners that can pay their mortgage without government assistance. 
These particular categories of borrowers are either unlikely to 
refinance successfully, or are not those who the HAMP program 
originally intended to help--those bar rowers who are in dire need of 
assistance to keep from losing their home.
  Another reason the HAMP program has not reached its desired goal is 
because banks and other mortgage servicers were understaffed and 
unprepared to carry out loan modifications--resulting in widespread 
complaints about lost files, non-responsiveness, etc. Furthermore, 
legally, mortgage holders can not be forced to reduce mortgage 
payments. Programs have had to be voluntary, incentivizing lenders to 
reduce mortgage payments in lieu of foreclosing on the loan.
  One of the more fundamental flaws in the HAMP Program was that it 
does not take certain circumstances into consideration. For instance, 
the program does not account for second mortgages than many homeowners 
may have on their property. As a result, some homeowners have ended up 
paying more than they originally owed, an outrageous thought 
considering the intended goal of the program. The study and report that 
would result from my amendment would bring these types of issues to 
light to ensure that a new program would better achieve the goals set 
by the Obama Administration
  Temporary Modifications--There were many temporary modifications that 
did not result in permanent modifications but . . . the Obama 
Administration says 50 percent of those who got temp modifications 
received permanent modifications in the private market (so this means 
HAMP temporary modifications did in fact help homeowners)
  These types of strengths and weaknesses are invaluable pieces of 
information. My amendment would simply ensure that Congress would be 
privy to an official report containing this information and 
determinations from those experts who have worked most closely with the 
HAMP program since its inception.
  With that, Mr. Chair, I ask that this committee strongly consider 
accepting my amendment. Thank you again for the opportunity to testify.
  Mr. McHENRY. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from North Carolina is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. McHENRY. Mr. Chairman, I am not sure what my colleague from Texas 
has heard at her town hall meetings, but what I have heard from my 
constituents, I have one resident of Stanley, North Carolina, who said, 
``We have paid payments every month.'' Now, I say to my colleague, I 
have read this before, but I wasn't sure if you were on the floor for 
this. But one constituent of mine said, ``We have paid payments every 
month. But now we are being told we are behind in our payments because 
it is not the original monthly payment on our original loan, but it was 
an amount we were told to pay in 2010. How can we be behind?''
  I would ask my colleagues to read the Special Inspector General's 
report, ``The Details of Failures of HAMP.'' I ask my colleagues to 
listen to their constituents. More people in America, I would remind my 
colleagues, more people in America, close to 800,000 Americans, have 
been actively harmed and left worse off under this Federal program than 
have actually been helped.
  My colleague points to a laudable survey of the positives. The survey 
doesn't detail the destroyed lives that this HAMP program has pushed on 
people, has created.
  So, this amendment, the reason why I rise in opposition is because 
this amendment is similar to ones we have had in committee that we 
rejected in committee. This directs the Treasury to conduct a study of 
HAMP and would be completely counterproductive. The reason why it would 
be completely counterproductive is over the last 6 months we have seen 
the Treasury Department engage in a frantic 6-month media campaign for 
this program. They won't admit it is a failure; although, the rest of 
the world is largely saying it is a failure. They even have offered a 
veto threat on this legislation.
  The Special Inspector General, Mr. Barofsky, said just earlier this 
week, ``This Treasury Department is so content with the wretched, 
shameful status quo, they refuse to even acknowledge that the program 
is a failure.'' And that is why simply to offer the Treasury to study 
this really is beneath the House.

                              {time}  1630

  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee).
  The question was taken; and the Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further proceedings on 
the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from Texas will be postponed.


                 Amendment No. 7 Offered by Ms. Matsui

  The CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 7 printed in 
part A of House Report 112-34.
  Ms. MATSUI. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Add at the end the following new section:

     SEC. 3. CONTINUED REPORTING ON MORTGAGE MODIFICATIONS.

       Section 110 of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 
     2008 (12 U.S.C. 5220) is amended by adding at the end the 
     following new subsection:
       ``(e) Continued Reporting on Mortgage Modifications.--
       ``(1) Findings.--The Congress finds that--
       ``(A) the data on mortgage modifications collected from 
     mortgage servicers and lenders and made available to the 
     public pursuant to the guidelines of the Home Affordable 
     Modification Program has been a valuable tool for increasing 
     transparency; and
       ``(B) that the public would be served by having such 
     servicers and lenders continue to report information on 
     mortgage modifications.
       ``(2) In general.--Each mortgage servicer and mortgage 
     lender who participated in the Home Affordable Modification 
     Program shall, monthly, disclose on a World Wide Web site 
     owned by such servicer or lender, the following information:
       ``(A) The number of requests for mortgage modifications 
     that the servicer or lender has received.
       ``(B) The number of requests for mortgage modifications 
     that the servicer or lender has processed.
       ``(C) The number of requests for mortgage modifications 
     that the servicer or lender has approved.
       ``(D) The number of requests for mortgage modifications 
     that the servicer or lender has denied.
       ``(3) Report to the congress.--At the time a mortgage 
     servicer or mortgage lender discloses information pursuant to 
     paragraph (1), such servicer or lender shall also issue a 
     report to the Congress containing such information.
       ``(4) Rulemaking.--The Secretary of the Treasury shall 
     issue such regulations as may be necessary to carry out this 
     subsection, including regulations for the protection of the 
     privacy interest of those individuals seeking mortgage 
     modifications with the servicer or lender, including the 
     deletion or alteration of the applicant's name and 
     identification number.''.

  The CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 170, the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Matsui) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from California.
  Ms. MATSUI. I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise today to offer an amendment to H.R. 839, the 
HAMP Termination Act, that calls on mortgage lenders to continue to 
publicly report basic home loan modification information.
  Because of an amendment I offered to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street 
Reform and Consumer Protection Act which passed the house unanimously 
last Congress, mortgage lenders and services participating in the Home 
Affordable Modification Program are required to report basic loan 
modification information to the Department of the Treasury. Due to the 
enactment of my amendment, we now know that 2.5 million Americans have 
applied to participate in the Home Affordable Modification Program, and 
well over 600,000 of those applicants began permanent modifications.
  In the Sacramento region, over 9,000 of the nearly 12,000 homeowners 
who have applied for permanent modifications have been approved, 
providing assistance to thousands of homeowners in my district. This 
information is crucial to accountability and transparency and for this 
Congress to measure the performance of the mortgage industry.

[[Page H2014]]

  The amendment I offer today requires the same basic home loan 
modification reporting to continue, such as the number of applications 
they receive, the number of applications processed, or the number of 
modifications they approve or deny.
  In its current form, H.R. 839 would eliminate HAMP, and, as a result, 
financial institutions who received HAMP taxpayer funds would no longer 
be obligated to continue reporting such basic information to the 
public.
  Mr. Chairman, the foreclosure crisis was the root cause of the dire 
economic situation. It led to the near collapse of our financial 
system, increased unemployment, and caused the housing and credit 
crisis. Sadly, there are still millions of American homeowners facing 
foreclosure, and my home district of Sacramento, California, has been 
hit especially hard by this crisis.
  During the last few years, I have been to foreclosure workshops in my 
district where I have met with constituents who are facing losing their 
home. I was recently contacted by Joan, a constituent of mine who would 
have lost her house without assistance from HAMP. Joan paid her bills 
on time and was current on her mortgage when her son was diagnosed with 
a psychiatric disorder that rendered him unable to work. When her adult 
son moved in with her shortly after, Joan was no longer able to provide 
for him and make her mortgage payments at the same time and sought 
assistance. With proper assistance, Joan received a low interest rate 
HAMP loan and now is able once again to make her mortgage payments on 
time.
  Joan shared with me that her home was saved due to the HAMP program 
and that her son would have been homeless without it. She said, ``I 
have no words to express my feelings of gratitude for my loan 
modification.''
  Mr. Chairman, I've heard a significant number of similar stories in 
Sacramento. It is essential that we require lenders to continue to 
report their loan modification activities. We need to know how many 
Joans are out there struggling but seeking assistance. We need to know 
whether lenders are doing all they can.
  Mr. Chairman, this amendment will ensure a level of transparency and 
accountability continue. I urge my colleagues to support this 
commonsense transparency amendment.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McHENRY. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from North Carolina is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. McHENRY. I appreciate the gentlelady offering this amendment. 
Unfortunately, I must rise in opposition to it.
  The requirements in this amendment are both cumbersome and 
unnecessary. It requires servicers and lenders to provide information 
regarding proprietary information on their entire portfolio of loans, 
not just HAMP. The reporting requirement for, quote, requests for 
modifications is undefined in the amendment and is, therefore, 
unworkable based on the research that we have done.
  It's unclear why this new role is necessary in the contractual 
negotiations between private citizens and private companies. 
Furthermore, servicers already provide results of their modification 
efforts to the HOPE NOW Alliance as well as in their annual reports 
without disclosing proprietary information. In fact, the HOPE NOW 
Alliance reports servicers having completed 961,355 proprietary 
modifications in 2008; 1,172,490 proprietary modifications in 2009; and 
1.2 million in 2010.
  Now I might add, this is many multiples in the private sector in 
terms of mortgage modifications than have been provided under the HAMP 
government funded program that we're discussing here today and trying 
to eliminate here today, the program that has hurt just shy of 800,000 
Americans, destroyed their credit, taken their savings and, at the end 
of the day, taken their homes. I would encourage my colleagues to vote 
against this amendment.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. MATSUI. I yield myself the balance of my time.
  Mr. Chairman, I just want to say that these basic reporting 
requirements are not new. It's about HAMP. Every financial institution 
receiving HAMP funds from the TARP program is currently required to 
report this information today.
  The current industry reporting requirements have played a significant 
role in providing a sense of transparency and accountability, and 
that's what we're talking about, transparency and accountability in our 
efforts to help homeowners and stabilize our housing market. Requiring 
basic information to be reported will provide this Congress with the 
information to make future decisions on loan modification programs as 
well as monitor the performance of the mortgage industry.
  Mr. Chairman, I ask my colleagues to join me in supporting this 
important amendment to bring clarity and transparency to the mortgage 
industry.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. McHENRY. Mr. Chairman, in closing, I would encourage my 
colleagues to vote ``no'' on this amendment. The reporting requirements 
my colleague references are required by the servicers that are 
participating in HAMP, and they are required to disclose the 
information related to the Federal program, HAMP.
  This amendment goes much further and requires these servicers to 
disclose hundreds of thousands of other modifications that are in the 
private sector. We know the aggregate number. What is being requested 
here is detailed information that is not correct for personal privacy 
and is not proper in keeping with the hundreds of thousands of private 
transactions going on across this country.
  I urge my colleagues to vote ``no.''
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from California (Ms. Matsui).
  The amendment was rejected.


                Amendment No. 8 Offered by Mrs. Maloney

  The CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 8 printed in 
part A of House Report 112-34.
  Mrs. MALONEY. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk made in 
order under the rule.
  The CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Add at the end the following new section:

     SEC. 3. FINDINGS.

       The Congress finds the following:
       (1) As of January 2011, active trials and permanent Home 
     Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) modifications had been 
     initiated in all 50 States and the District of Columbia, 
     including--
       (A) 4036 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     Alabama;
       (B) 291 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     Alaska;
       (C) 32159 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     Arizona;
       (D) 1527 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     Arkansas;
       (E) 161181 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications 
     in California;
       (F) 9349 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     Colorado;
       (G) 8604 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     Connecticut;
       (H) 1166 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     the District of Columbia;
       (I) 2130 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     Delaware;
       (J) 82230 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     Florida;
       (K) 25120 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     Georgia;
       (L) 2656 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     Hawaii;
       (M) 2640 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     Idaho;
       (N) 36907 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     Illinois;
       (O) 6785 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     Indiana;
       (P) 1761 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     Iowa;
       (Q) 1639 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     Kansas;
       (R) 2622 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     Kentucky;
       (S) 3774 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     Louisiana;
       (T) 1925 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     Maine;
       (U) 22028 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     Maryland;
       (V) 17039 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     Massachusetts;
       (W) 22716 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     Michigan;
       (X) 12108 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     Minnesota;
       (Y) 2641 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     Mississippi;
       (Z) 7284 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     Missouri;
       (AA) 764 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     Montana;
       (BB) 917 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     Nebraska;
       (CC) 17860 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications 
     in Nevada;

[[Page H2015]]

       (DD) 3175 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     New Hampshire;
       (EE) 22105 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications 
     in New Jersey;
       (FF) 2190 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     New Mexico;
       (GG) 30955 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications 
     in New York;
       (HH) 12663 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications 
     in North Carolina;
       (II) 116 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     North Dakota;
       (JJ) 15379 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications 
     in Ohio;
       (KK) 1624 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     Oklahoma;
       (LL) 7452 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     Oregon;
       (MM) 14302 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications 
     in Pennsylvania;
       (NN) 3539 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     Rhode Island;
       (OO) 6526 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     South Carolina;
       (PP) 273 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     South Dakota;
       (QQ) 7124 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     Tennessee;
       (RR) 17961 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications 
     in Texas;
       (SS) 6405 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     Utah;
       (TT) 565 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     Vermont;
       (UU) 16738 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications 
     in Virginia;
       (VV) 13387 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications 
     in Washington;
       (WW) 1040 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     West Virginia;
       (XX) 6793 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     Wisconsin; and
       (YY) 349 active trials and permanent HAMP modifications in 
     Wyoming.
       (2) As of January 2011, 1,493,107 additional trial 
     modifications were started under the HAMP Program.
       (3) As of January 2011, 607,607 additional permanent 
     modifications were started under the HAMP Program.
       (4) By voting to terminate the Home Affordable Modification 
     Program without a suggested replacement, the Congress is 
     voting to terminate a program that may have helped to modify 
     an additional 2,867,420 delinquent mortgages in the United 
     States.

  The CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 170, the gentlewoman from New 
York (Mrs. Maloney) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from New York.

                              {time}  1640

  Mrs. MALONEY. Mr. Chair, for everyone that cares about the issues of 
poverty, housing, economic growth, and community life, the last couple 
of weeks have brought some troubling news. Wednesday came the news that 
purchases of new U.S. homes declined last month to the slowest pace on 
record, and new home prices dropped to the lowest level since December, 
2003. And yet over the past 2 weeks, House Republicans have said with 
their votes again and again that their policy to help homeowners is to 
just give up; to throw in the towel and to say that there's just 
nothing that Congress can do or will do to address the problem to help 
struggling American families. They have already voted to terminate 
three Federal programs that help Americans who are struggling to stay 
in their homes. And now we are considering yet another one that has 
helped more than 32,000 New Yorkers stay in their homes--over 600,000 
across our great country.
  What bothers me is that they are leading the effort to eliminate 
these programs, voting against them, and yet they have no plans of 
their own to address the foreclosure crisis that is hurting 
neighborhoods and disrupting lives throughout their country, like the 
jobs bills they said they would have. We have yet to see them. The only 
initiative to help housing is to eliminate the programs that are 
already there.
  The HAMP program has been successful in helping, as I said, over 
600,000. And with over 30,000 mortgages modified each month nationally, 
HAMP is continuing to provide relief to struggling families across this 
country. My amendment will add findings to the bill with the number of 
trial and permanent modifications stated under the HAMP program. The 
findings will also state the number of seriously delinquent mortgages 
in the U.S. that may be eligible for HAMP modifications but won't be 
because the program is being terminated. I believe it is important for 
the public to understand State by State the number of mortgages--the 
number of families--who are still in their homes because of the HAMP 
program. Families are saving an average of over $500 per month on their 
mortgage payments. This amounts to nearly $5 billion in savings since 
the program started. These are real families and real savings. If our 
friends who have proposed to terminate this program want to talk about 
savings, they should think about the number of people in these States 
who have benefited from HAMP and are now saving money every single 
month. They should also think about the number of seriously delinquent 
mortgages out there that are on the verge of foreclosure. Currently, 
over 2 million families in our country are in this situation. Many of 
these could be eligible to participate in the HAMP program. But by 
terminating it now, our friends are saying that these families are on 
their own. The numbers speak for themselves, and I think it is 
important that we highlight how we have helped families across this 
country and how many more are not going to be helped or are not being 
helped by terminating and closing this program.
  So I urge my colleagues to support my amendment and to oppose the 
underlying bill, and I will place in the Record a statement of 
administration policy from the Executive Office of President Barack 
Obama in support of the HAMP program, urging a ``no'' vote on the 
efforts by the Republican majority.
         Executive Office of the President, Office of Management 
           and Budget,
                                   Washington, DC, March 29, 2011.

                   Statement of Administration Policy


                     H.R. 839--HAMP Termination Act

                 (Rep. McHenry, R-NC, and 8 cosponsor)

       The Administration strongly opposes House passage of H.R. 
     839 which would eliminate the Department of the Treasury's 
     Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). This program 
     offers eligible homeowners an opportunity to lower their 
     mortgage payments, helping individuals avoid foreclosure and 
     leading to the protection of home values and the preservation 
     of homeownership. The Administration is committed to helping 
     struggling American homeowners stay in their homes, and has 
     taken many steps over the last two years to stabilize what 
     was a rapidly-declining housing market. As tens of thousands 
     of responsible American homeowners struggling with their 
     mortgages receive permanent assistance each month from HAMP, 
     the Administration believes that continuation of HAMP is 
     important to the Nation's sustained economic recovery.
       If the President is presented with H.R. 839, his senior 
     advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.
                                  ____


                     Making Home Affordable Program


            Servicer Performance Report Through January 2011

                                             HAMP ACTIVITY BY STATE
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                    Active      Permanent                 % of
                              State                                 Trials    Modifications     Total     Total
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
AK...............................................................        63              228       291       0.0
AL...............................................................       927            3,109     4,036       0.6
AR...............................................................       337            1,190     1,527       0.2
AZ...............................................................     5,837           26,322    32,159       4.7
CA...............................................................    32,617          128,564   161,181      23.5
CO...............................................................     1,762            7,587     9,349       1.4
CT...............................................................     1,759            6,845     8,604       1.3
DC...............................................................       247              919     1,166       0.2
DE...............................................................       454            1,676     2,130       0.3
FL...............................................................    18,570           63,660    82,230      12.0
GA...............................................................     5,553           19,567    25,120       3.7
HI...............................................................       607            2,049     2,656       0.4
IA...............................................................       388            1,373     1,761       0.3
ID...............................................................       602            2,038     2,640       0.4
IL...............................................................     7,803           29,104    36,907       5.4
IN...............................................................     1,505            5,280     6,785       1.0
KS...............................................................       379            1,260     1,639       0.2
KY...............................................................       556            2,066     2,622       0.4
LA...............................................................       977            2,797     3,774       0.6
MA...............................................................     3,542           13,497    17,039       2.5
MD...............................................................     4,545           17,483    22,028       3.2
ME...............................................................       452            1,473     1,925       0.3
MI...............................................................     4,651           18,065    22,716       3.3
MN...............................................................     2,201            9,907    12,108       1.8
MO...............................................................     1,536            5,748     7,284       1.1
MS...............................................................       571            2,070     2,641       0.4
MT...............................................................       176              588       764       0.1
NC...............................................................     2,649           10,014    12,663       1.8
ND...............................................................        26               90       116       0.0
NE...............................................................       198              719       917       0.1
NH...............................................................       670            2,505     3,175       0.5
NJ...............................................................     4,738           17,367    22,105       3.2
NM...............................................................       476            1,714     2,190       0.3
NV...............................................................     3,697           14,163    17,860       2.6
NY...............................................................     7,022           23,933    30,955       4.5
OH...............................................................     3,325           12,054    15,379       2.2
OK...............................................................       401            1,223     1,624       0.2
OR...............................................................     1,547            5,905     7,452       1.1
PA...............................................................     3,124           11,178    14,302       2.1
RI...............................................................       719            2,820     3,539       0.5
SC...............................................................     1,377            5,149     6,526       1.0
SD...............................................................        66              207       273       0.0
TN...............................................................     1,601            5,523     7,124       1.0
TX...............................................................     4,381           13,580    17,961       2.6
UT...............................................................     1,330            5,075     6,405       0.9
VA...............................................................     3,364           13,374    16,738       2.4
VT...............................................................       125              440       565       0.1
WA...............................................................     2,927           10,460    13,387       2.0
WI...............................................................     1,474            5,319     6,793       1.0
WV...............................................................       209              831     1,040       0.2
WY...............................................................        61              288       349       0.1
Other*...........................................................     1,136            1,097     2,233       0.3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Includes Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McHENRY. Mr. Chair, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from North Carolina is recognized for 5 
minutes.

[[Page H2016]]

  Mr. McHENRY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
  The amendment fails to highlight that there are more failed 
modifications than successful permanent modifications. In fact, in the 
dissenting views from the Financial Services Committee Democrats, of 
which my colleague from New York (Mrs. Maloney) signed, along with 14 
of her Democrat colleagues, it states that, in their view, 570,000 
homeowners would be assisted under HAMP if the program were allowed to 
continue. This amendment, however, states that that number is 2.8 
million. This differs from the facts of her own party. And I think both 
numbers are much higher than what have been agreed upon by the 
Congressional Oversight Panel of TARP. Their numbers are much, much 
lower.
  I think if you use my colleague's words and figures, it's fair to say 
that those are grossly inflated and go well beyond what is reasonable, 
what is serious, and what is agreed upon in the private sector, or by 
even most of her Democrat colleagues. So I would urge my colleagues to 
vote against that.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mrs. MALONEY. The number of over 2 million delinquent mortgages in 
the United States is the range of people that could be eligible, who 
could apply for the program, but not all of them would qualify. You 
have to reach certain standards to qualify to enter the program. So 
this is the range of the people who could be helped.
  The difficulty with my Republican colleagues is that they have no 
alternative. They're abolishing a program without coming forward with 
any idea to help themselves. As Mark Zandi said in his recent report, 
housing remains fragile in America. And housing is roughly 25 percent 
of our economy. So to the extent that we can help people stay in their 
homes, thereby not only helping that family but helping their community 
and helping their country, helping to stabilize the housing prices 
around that house so it doesn't become delinquent and abandoned, 
pulling down the values in the communities, this is an important 
program. And it should be continued. It's no taxpayer dollars used. 
It's from the TARP program, funded by the banks. This is an effort to 
help the overall economy.
  The Acting CHAIR (Mr. Womack). The time of the gentlewoman from New 
York has expired.
  Mr. McHENRY. Mr. Chairman, in closing, I would quote from page 17 of 
the dissenting views of the Financial Services Committee Democrats, of 
which my colleague, Mrs. Maloney, signed on. Page 17, ``A reasonable 
estimate is that the program participation will double by the end of 
next year,'' which, I might add, is a bit ambitious. I'll just continue 
with the quote. ``A reasonable estimate is that the program 
participation will double by the end of next year, for a cumulative 
total of 1.1 million homeowners. Based on this estimate, the bill would 
deny modification for more than a half million homeowners at risk of 
foreclosure.'' I might add, the statistics also bear out that for every 
half a million that are helped in this program, you're actively hurting 
about 800,000 Americans.
  So what the opposition on the other side of the aisle is doing is 
saying we should continue failure, we should endorse failure. In fact, 
we should continue to hurt people by keeping this program open. And 
that, under their view, it means that you'll have 800,000 Americans 
that will be left worse off because this program exists--worse off. 
Their credit depleted, their home taken, their credit rating destroyed. 
I think that is highly inappropriate, Mr. Chairman. That's why I oppose 
this amendment.
  I yield the balance of my time to my colleague from Illinois (Mrs. 
Biggert).
  Mrs. BIGGERT. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  My colleague from New York and many of the colleagues from that side 
of the aisle have been saying that if we end this program, there will 
be nothing. That simply isn't true. Of the 4.1 million mortgage 
modifications that were completed, 3.5 million were done by the private 
sector with no government program and not a dime from the taxpayers. 
There's also the Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP, for 
homeowners with government-backed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans. And 
don't forget about the Hardest Hit Fund. According to the Treasury Web 
site, the President established this in February, 2010, to provide 
targeted aid to families in States hard hit by the economic and housing 
market downturn. That includes $1.5 million that went to the hardest 
hit States--California, Arizona, Florida, Nevada, and Michigan. Another 
$600 million went to another set--North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, 
and South Carolina. And finally, $2 billion was distributed to 17 
States and the District of Columbia.

                              {time}  1650

  In 2008, $300 million in guarantees was committed for HOPE for 
Homeowners, a voluntary FHA program. Only 200 loans have been modified 
in this program, but it does exist; $475 million has been appropriated 
to Neighborhood Works for foreclosure counseling for homeowners. 
Finally, there are countless local, State, and private sector 
initiatives.
  We have to stop funding programs with money that we don't have. Let's 
make that clear. With that, I would urge opposition to this amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. Maloney).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mrs. MALONEY. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from New York 
will be postponed.


      Amendment No. 9 Offered by Ms. Loretta Sanchez of California

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 9 
printed in part A of House Report 112-34.
  Ms. LORETTA SANCHEZ of California. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment 
at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Add at the end the following new section:

     SEC. 3. SENSE OF CONGRESS.

       The Congress encourages banks to work with homeowners to 
     provide loan modifications to those that are eligible. The 
     Congress also encourages banks to work and assist homeowners 
     and prospective homeowners with foreclosure prevention 
     programs and information on loan modifications.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 170, the gentlewoman 
from California (Ms. Loretta Sanchez) and a Member opposed each will 
control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from California.
  Ms. LORETTA SANCHEZ of California. Mr. Chairman, I yield to the 
gentleman from California (Mr. George Miller) for a unanimous consent 
request.
  (Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California asked and was given permission to 
revise and extend his remarks.)
  Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California. I thank the gentlewoman for 
yielding.
  Mr. Chairman, it is with great regret but with clear intent that I 
rise in opposition to continuing the Federal Home Affordable 
Modification Program, known as HAMP, without significant changes.
  HAMP was designed to help millions of homeowners who had fallen 
victim to the financial crisis of 2008 and to the collapse of the 
housing market; but regrettably, at this time, it is not working under 
its current structure.
  On behalf of struggling homeowners in my congressional district 
trying to avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes, I have gone to 
great lengths to encourage the Obama administration to recognize the 
serious shortcomings of the HAMP program, shortcomings that have been 
well documented by numerous independent and authoritative sources.
  But the administration has been unable to successfully respond to the 
legitimate criticisms of HAMP and as a result the administration faces 
opposition to its program today on the floor of the House not only from 
those who oppose everything this administration does for purely 
partisan reasons but also from representatives like me who have 
genuinely sought to work with the administration to improve this 
program.
  I hope that my vote today is understood clearly by the administration 
as one more effort on my part, on behalf of my desperate constituents, 
to get the administration to recognize the urgency of the housing 
crisis and

[[Page H2017]]

respond to it accordingly. I appreciate that much hard work has already 
been done. I know that many people are involved in this effort and many 
hours have been dedicated to the problem. But in the case of ongoing 
foreclosures nationwide and the abuses homeowners face from banks and 
mortgage servicers, all the hard work and effort has not been 
sufficient and more must be done.
  Homeowners in my community and across the country are being lied to, 
chewed up, and abused by banks and servicers in an arbitrary and 
capricious system that has stripped them of their homes and their 
livelihoods. In my district, people who are in need of substantial help 
in their fights against the big banks are simply not getting it. Hard 
as I try with my staff, and hard as my colleagues try with their staff, 
we cannot do enough on our own.
  Make no mistake--Republicans in Washington are not on the side of 
homeowners in this fight. They're using the problems with HAMP as an 
excuse to once again oppose the Obama administration, just as they have 
opposed the Obama administration on every step it has taken to rescue 
the economy, for purely partisan reasons. Regrettably, the Republican 
approach to the housing crisis is to cut and run, to starve the economy 
of the investments it needs to create jobs and get the economy--and the 
housing market--back on its feet. Their bill today does nothing to help 
the housing crisis and it would deprive the administration of funds 
that could be used to help homeowners. But their bill does one thing 
that I do support--it sends a message that homeowners are not getting 
the help they need from HAMP and that HAMP must be significantly 
improved or replaced in order to offer the kind of help distressed 
homeowners need.
  So far, such improvements have not taken place. And I see no sign 
that they will. And left with no choice but to register one more 
complaint by voting to end HAMP.
  I hope today's vote is understood clearly as a wake-up call to the 
administration that HAMP is not good enough today to earn my support 
and that it must be strengthened immediately or replaced by a program 
that does work. I hope my vote sends the message that banks and 
servicers are responsible for the abuse that is taking place in today's 
housing market and that we intend to hold them accountable for their 
behavior, and that we are committed to helping struggling homeowners 
survive and recover from this crisis.
  Ms. LORETTA SANCHEZ of California. Mr. Chairman, since my colleagues 
on the other side of the aisle are ending the Home Affordable 
Modification Program, my amendment simply states that the Congress 
should encourage the banks to provide our qualifying neighbors with 
loan modifications. It also encourages the banks to provide our friends 
and families with information on foreclosure prevention and loan 
modification.
  My Republican colleagues say that the Home Affordable Modification 
Program is not helping enough people. Well, it didn't help all the 
people. That's true. I know people who went and tried to get their 
loans modified, and it didn't work for them; but there have been quite 
a few who have been helped. I want to give you some examples just in my 
own area.
  For example, there is this couple in Garden Grove, California. The 
husband became unemployed. He was a construction worker; and as we all 
know, construction was the first industry to fold. Well, the family 
fell behind on their mortgage payments despite the fact that they are 
extremely frugal and had been saving money for emergencies.
  After some time, the husband found a job. Of course it paid less, and 
they are still unable to pay their full mortgage. They owed $8,825 in 
missed payments with late fees; plus, they had a balance of $482,000 on 
their mortgage. Thanks to the modification program, the debts were 
forgiven, and the balance was dropped by $87,000 so that they have a 
new balance.
  Even with the loss of income, they are very thankful that they can 
keep their home and that they have a mortgage payment that they can 
make. The Home Affordable Modification Program allowed this family to 
keep their home.
  A family from Santa Ana was close to losing their home due to 
financial hardship as the husband's hours and income were reduced. So 
to make ends meet, he supplemented his primary job with a part-time 
job. These are not people who are asking for handouts. These are people 
who are trying to figure out a way to hold onto their homes and to keep 
stability with their children. The gentleman really wanted to keep his 
home, so he worked with a counseling agency to formulate a budget that 
was affordable to him. Thanks to the loan modification program, his 
payment was reduced, and the family can stay in their home. That's one 
more family in Santa Ana that is in their home today.
  Then there was this couple who worked for a school district. The 
budget restraints in the State forced them to have furloughs, which 
took a significant toll on their income. There was a couple from 
Anaheim who was using their unused sick and vacation days just so they 
could get that check in order to make the mortgage. Thanks to the loan 
modification program, the couple was able to permanently modify their 
loan and keep their home. Their monthly mortgage payment was reduced, 
and it made it more affordable. Even with an income reduction, this is 
another couple, another family, who is still in their home.
  Those are only three of the success stories we've had. I know I have 
worked very hard with my housing agencies and with people in putting on 
forums and talking to people and giving information and calling them in 
and getting the banks to try to modify these loans. This is a 5-year 
process at home that we have been working on. I don't know, maybe the 
rest of my colleagues didn't do this or didn't know how to do it or 
they weren't as successful, but we have had success. So we have 
families who are in their homes.
  It is my hope that my Republican colleagues will reconsider this 
bill. Let's work together to find solutions for people because when you 
keep families in their homes, the stability of the family stays intact; 
and when you have that in particular, if you have children, they need 
that stability.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mrs. BIGGERT. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment, 
even though I am not opposed.
  The Acting CHAIR. Without objection, the gentlewoman from Illinois is 
recognized for 5 minutes.
  There was no objection.
  Mrs. BIGGERT. We will accept the amendment.
  I have had similar occurrences in my district where actually one 
gentleman had to pay back $42,000 worth of late fees as well as the 
penalties and the difference between the loan modification. That's 
where I think this program has failed.
  Yet I think your amendment is a sense for Congress to encourage the 
banks to work with our constituents and to provide loan modifications 
to those who are eligible. It also encourages banks to work with our 
constituents and to provide them with the best services. It encourages 
the banks to assist prospective homeowners with foreclosure prevention 
and counseling.
  I think this is a help in the private sector and encourages the 
private sector to do this, so we would accept this amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from California (Ms. Loretta Sanchez).
  The amendment was agreed to.
  Mrs. BIGGERT. Mr. Chairman, I move that the Committee do now rise.
  The motion was agreed to.
  Accordingly, the Committee rose; and the Speaker pro tempore (Mr. 
McHenry) having assumed the chair, Mr. Womack, Acting Chair of the 
Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union, reported that 
that Committee, having had under consideration the bill (H.R. 839) to 
amend the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 to terminate the 
authority of the Secretary of the Treasury to provide new assistance 
under the Home Affordable Modification Program, while preserving 
assistance to homeowners who were already extended an offer to 
participate in the Program, either on a trial or permanent basis, had 
come to no resolution thereon.

                          ____________________