10 House Republicans helped Democratic Financial Services Chairman Rep. Barney Frank (D.-Mass.) pass a $300 billion mortgage bailout bill out of his committee that is expected to pass the House this week.
The 10 Republicans joined Democrats to support a bailout titled the “American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act” were: Rep. Deborah Pryce (Ohio), Rep. Michael Castle (Del.), Rep. Jim Gerlach (Pa.), Rep. Peter King (N.Y), Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (W.V.), Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (Fla.), Rep. Dean Heller (Nev.), Rep. Chris Shays (Conn.), Rep. Steven LaTourette (Ohio.) and Rep. Gary Miller (Calif.). The final vote count out of the Financial Services Committee was 46-21.
President Bush issued a veto threat the bill Wednesday, saying it would “reward speculators and lenders.” The legislation would authorize the Federal Housing Administration to purchase $300 billion in bad loans from banks. Under the bill, the FHA would buy the loans for 85 percent of its value and resell the loan for 90 percent its value with 100 percent backing from the federal government. Taxpayers would be on the hook to pay the costs of absorbing those bad loans.
Banks and risky borrowers “are basically getting a guaranteed gift from the government,” said Rep. Tom Feeney (R.-Fla.) on the House floor while the bill was being debated Thursday. Feeney is a member of the 100-strong House Republican Study Committee which is adamantly opposing the bill.
The House passed a separate bill to give $15 billion in federal money to the states to purchase foreclosed properties Thursday morning. Sponsored by California Democrat Rep. Maxine Waters, “The Neighborhood Stabilization Act” passed 239-188.
11 Republicans voted with Democrats to pass it. They were: Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (Fla.), Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (Fla.), Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (Md.), Rep. Steven LaTourette (Ohio.), Rep. Jon Porter (Nev.), Rep. Deborah Pryce (Ohio), Rep. Jim Ramstad (Minn.), Rep. Illeana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.), Rep. Chris Shays (Conn.), Rep. Mike Turner (Ohio) and Rep. Jim Walsh (N.Y.)