What: All Issues : Aid to Less Advantaged People, at Home & Abroad : America's Poor : (H.R. 830) On an amendment requiring the Department of Housing and Urban Development to post on its website a note stating that individuals seeking help with their home mortgages should contact their member of Congress. (2011 house Roll Call 169)
 Who: All Members : New York, District 2 : King, Pete
[POW!]
 
(H.R. 830) On an amendment requiring the Department of Housing and Urban Development to post on its website a note stating that individuals seeking help with their home mortgages should contact their member of Congress.
house Roll Call 169     Mar 10, 2011
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This was a vote on an amendment by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) requiring the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to post on its website a note stating that individuals seeking help with their home mortgages should contact their member of Congress. Specifically, the amendment provided that HUD’s statement should read: “If you owe more on your mortgage than your home is worth, please contact your member of Congress for assistance.'' This amendment was offered to legislation eliminating and FHA program enabling homeowners to refinance their home mortgages if, as a result of plummeting housing prices, their mortgage debt exceeded the value of their home.

Waters urged support for her amendment: “…This amendment that I've worked on with my colleagues on the opposite [Republican] side of the aisle is simply about transparency. It is simply about making ourselves available to the homeowners who are trying to get some help because they are under water. This amendment would simply say that the program is no longer in existence and that you may call us to help you to get to your lender or to get to your servicer in some way….I would simply like our citizens to know that this program that they may have started to hear about is no longer in existence and that, if they call us, we will agree that we will try and help them, in some modest way, to get to their servicers or to their lenders.”

Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL), the only Republican to speak on the amendment, said that he personally would support it but also voiced concerns by members of his party that it was inappropriate for citizens to contact members of Congress about their mortgages: “I know there may be members who say they don't want to be contacted, but I will tell you this: People do call us from time to time, and they say, I'm having trouble with paying my mortgage. I'm facing foreclosure, and I can't get in touch with my lender or my servicer, and I'm not sure who I should talk to.”  He added: “I do want to caution members that it is not an obligation of Congress or of members of Congress--and I think Ms. Waters would agree--to intervene and to suggest to the lenders that they do anything other than give due consideration.”

The House agreed to this amendment by a vote of 278-147. Voting “yea” were 180 Democrats and 98 Republicans. 138 Republicans and 9 Democrats voted “nay.” As a result, the House agreed to an amendment requiring the Department of Housing and Urban Development to post on its website a note instructing those seeking help with their home mortgages to contact their member of Congress.

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Key: Y=Yea, N=Nay, W=Win, L=Loss