What: All Issues : Housing : Preventing Bank Foreclosures on Homes : HR 384. (Mortgage-backed securities buyout conditions) Motion to rewrite a mortgage bailout bill to add language requiring a plan to be developed to repay all assistance provided under the bill/On the motion
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HR 384. (Mortgage-backed securities buyout conditions) Motion to rewrite a mortgage bailout bill to add language requiring a plan to be developed to repay all assistance provided under the bill/On the motion
house Roll Call 25     Jan 21, 2009
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Progressive

This vote was on a motion to send a bill back to the Financial Services Committee to add language that would require the Treasury Department to develop a plan to repay the money provided under a 2008 law intended to purchase certain devalued or problematic mortgage assets.  The motion was offered to a bill that would create new conditions on the use of some $350 billion in funding to purchase certain “toxic” mortgage assets weighing down the balance books of banks and companies.

Gresham Barrett, R-S.C., who made the motion, said he voted for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) bill, which at the time was put forward by and characterized by the Bush administration as urgently needed to help prevent a precipitous economic freefall.  But he said now is time to step back and reflect on whether or not that money was spent responsibly.

“I have not yet seen that there was a credible plan in place to assure the taxpayer money was spent effectively and efficiently. I appreciate the fact that we are facing an unprecedented emergency economic situation, but trial and error, Madam Speaker, is simply not an acceptable strategy for spending taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars,” Barrett said.

Barney Frank, D-Mass., said he was surprised that Republicans were attacking a bill pushed by former President Bush and his administration.

“Basically, we are told that President Bush drove the car so recklessly that we have to junk it. That because President Bush so misused these tools, we have to deny them to a new President,” Frank said.  “The criticisms made of the Bush administration, wholly irrelevant to what the Obama administration will do.”

Frank also complained that Republicans were wasting the House’s time by repeatedly attempting to do the exact same thing and failing each time.

“This motion today is a motion to end the program. Guess what we will vote on tomorrow? A motion to end the program,” Frank said.

By a vote of 199-228, the motion was rejected.  All but two Republicans present voted for the motion.  Of Democrats present, 27 voted for the motion and 226 voted against it.  The end result is that a motion to change the bill so that it requires a plan and timetable for repaying TARP funds was defeated.

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