Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today on the floor of the U.S. Senate, calling on Republicans to heed the call of the Administration and millions of homeowners, and work with Democrats to pass the FHA Modernization Act that addresses the nation’s subprime mortgage crisis. Republicans subsequently objected to passing the bill:
“Secretary Paulson, this afternoon with the President, will unveil the Administration’s strategy to address the crisis of subprime lending. We know the efforts are not one that will cover everything, but it’s a step in the right direction. We don’t know all the details of this plan yet. I’m glad to see the White House beginning to address this awful situation now which threatens homes, security and the way of life of millions of Americans – including about 150,000 Nevadans.
“In Nevada, we continue to work hard locally with constituent services and education to make at-risk homeowners aware of the options available to them. But this crisis calls for national leadership, and we look forward to Secretary Paulson’s proposal. We believe that our proposal, the FHA Modernization Act, goes even further than the Administration’s.
“Earlier this week Secretary Paulson called upon Congress to pass the FHA Bill. We’ve been trying to do that. We have been prevented from passing it because of the Republicans. Secretary Paulson is part of a Republican Administration. He should lean on the minority here in the Senate to allow us to get this passed. I call once again upon Senate Republicans to heed the call of millions of at-risk homeowners, and to heed the call of Secretary Paulson, to pass the FHA Modernization Act.
“The only thing standing between passing this bill and not passing it are Senate Republicans. On November 15, we tried at the same time to pass FHA Act to assist at-risk homeowners and the Transportation-HUD Appropriations bill. That bill was so important because in that, Senator Murray provided $200 million for foreclosure counseling and mitigation.
“I came to the floor to say positive things about the President’s actions to help as many as 200,000 people. That’s what their efforts today – he and Secretary Paulson’s efforts today – will help: about 200,000 people. That’s about 10 percent of the people in real trouble. Is that enough? Of course it’s not enough, but it’s a step in the right direction. This FHA consent request that I have just made is also a tremendous big step in the right direction. And I hope my Republican colleagues will not object, and that we can go forward with this legislation.”