Washington, D.C.—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Chairman Chris Dodd joined Jared Bernstein of the Economic Policy Institute today in a press conference call to discuss Democratic efforts to address the housing crisis. This week Senate Democrats will move to reconsider the Foreclosure Prevention Act, a bill that will keep families facing foreclosure in their homes, help other families avoid foreclosures in the future, and help communities already harmed by foreclosure to recover. Senate Republicans blocked an earlier attempt to debate the bill last month.
“For the last several months, the President and Bush Republicans have adopted a ‘wait-and-see’ approach to fixing our economy,” Reid said. “But while they sit on their hands, middle-class Americans continue losing their jobs and oil prices have climbed to record levels. We cannot afford this strategy any longer, which is why Democrats are working to pass a bill to help those threatened by the root of our weakening economy – the mortgage meltdown.”
Said Dodd: “This is a pivotal week. By moving in a bipartisan fashion to consider the Foreclosure Prevention Act, we have a real opportunity to take strong and effective steps that can address the economic crisis by reducing foreclosures and unlocking the credit markets. “The Administration stepped in a couple of weeks ago to help Wall Street. Now it’s time to turn our attention to Main Street. Inaction is not an option. And frankly, failure is not an option, either. I hope that our Republican as well as Democratic colleagues will agree to move forward on the bill for the good of American homeowners.”
“The housing market has a unique characteristic: it takes a long time for price corrections to occur there, and the market can’t clear until this correction is complete,” Bernstein said. These plans help us get there sooner, so any wasted time is costly to American families.”