This was a vote on a motion to recommit that would have allowed the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) to continue operating for the purposes of renovating abandoned properties in rural communities. (The NSP provided state and local governments and non-profit organizations with funding to redevelop or demolish foreclosed homes.) A motion to recommit with instructions is the minority's opportunity to torpedo or significantly change a bill before a final up-or-down vote on the measure. This motion to recommit was offered to legislation eliminating the NSP.
Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA) urged support for this motion to recommit: “Most small towns are lucky to have a single convenience store, and they are even luckier if that convenience store sells gasoline. This is a Main Street in my State of Iowa, and there are far too many of these in communities in my state and in my district. And I guarantee you, there are far too many of these in rural communities in your States. Because while Wall Street and big corporations are doing fine, our rural communities and small towns are facing a real crisis, and the Neighborhood Stabilization Program is making a real difference in rural America….Wall Street is getting through this crisis; Main Streets are not. And it is time we answer this question: Are we going to stand with Wall Street and Big Oil and corporate CEOs, or are we going to stand up for small towns all across America that need our help now more than ever?”
Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA) opposed the motion to recommit: “Now, why would you impose a terrible program on rural America that you don't want on urban America?...Now, rural America, you probably got ripped off in this whole process like everybody else did…Now, taxpayers understand, clearly, it [the NSP] did not prevent one foreclosure in this entire country. Not one person got to keep their home because we spent $6 billion [on the NSP]. In fact, imagine the family who owned the home. Maybe the ma or pa got in trouble with their job. They couldn't quite make the payments. For the last 3 years, they have been unable to repair the plumbing. They couldn't replace the oven that wasn't working. A couple windows were broken out. The house needed painting. And they had to sit there and let their house go back to the lender, to watch some entity, a nonprofit or government agency, buy that home, fix it up, and sell it to somebody else. How would you feel when nobody came to your aid when you were losing your home, but yet your tax dollars were used to buy that home to give it to somebody else?”
The House rejected this motion to recommit by a vote of 153-272. Voting “yea” were 153 Democrats—including a majority of progressives. All 238 Republicans present and 34 Democrats voted “nay.” As a result, the House rejected a motion to recommit that would have allowed the Neighborhood Stabilization Program to continue operating for the purposes of renovating abandoned properties in rural communities.