INTRODUCTION OF VETERANS AMERICAN DREAM HOMEOWNERSHIP ASSISTANCE ACT OF 2001; Congressional Record Vol. 147, No. 30
(Extensions of Remarks - March 08, 2001)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E317-E318]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




INTRODUCTION OF VETERANS AMERICAN DREAM HOMEOWNERSHIP ASSISTANCE ACT OF 
                                  2001

                                 ______
                                 

                         HON. GERALD D. KLECZKA

                              of wisconsin

                    in the house of representatives

                        Thursday, March 8, 2001

  Mr. KLECZKA. Mr. Speaker, thousands of former servicemen and 
servicewomen in five states are currently prohibited from receiving 
state-financed home mortgages. That is why Congressman Herger and I, 
along with seven of our colleagues, are introducing the Veterans 
American Dream Homeownership Assistance Act. This legislation is 
similar to bills we introduced in the 104th, 105th, and 106th 
Congresses.
  In order to help veterans own a home, Congress created a program 
where states could issue tax-exempt bonds in order to raise funds to 
finance mortgages for owner-occupied residences. Five states--
Wisconsin, Alaska, Oregon, California, and Texas--implemented such a 
program for their veterans. Under a little-known provision in the 1984 
tax bill, Congress limited the veterans eligible for this program to 
those who began military service before 1977.
  As a result of the 1984 tax bill, veterans who entered military 
service after January 1, 1977 are prohibited from receiving a state-
financed veterans mortgage. This means veterans who served honorably in 
Panama, Grenada, or the Gulf War cannot get veterans home mortgages 
from their state government. Are those who began serving our country 
after January 1, 1977 any less deserving than those who served before?
  This arbitrary cutoff was created to raise additional revenue in the 
1984 tax bill by limiting the issuance of tax-exempt bonds. When this 
provision was enacted, post-1976 veterans were a small percentage of 
all veterans, without much voice to protest this discriminatory change. 
But, nineteen years later, there are thousands of veterans who have 
served our nation honorably.
  Mr. Speaker, as time goes by, this legislation takes on increasing 
importance. The State of Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs has 
informed me that if the cap on veterans bonds is not lifted this year, 
the State will be forced to disband the program because too few 
veterans are eligible for the program.
  This legislation would simply eliminate the cutoff that exists under 
current law. Under our proposal, former servicemen and servicewomen in 
the five states who served our country beginning before or after 
January 1, 1977 will be eligible to qualify for a state-financed home 
mortgage. This legislation does not increase federal discretionary 
spending by 1 cent. It simply allows the five states that

[[Page E318]]

have a mortgage finance program for their veterans to provide mortgages 
to all veterans regardless of when they served in the military.
  There is no justification to allow some veterans to qualify for a 
home mortgage while others cannot. Mr. Speaker, I urge the House to 
help those veterans who have served after January 1, 1977 to own a home 
and pass this important legislation into law.

                          ____________________