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Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Representing the 43rd District of California


August 4, 2009
Floor Statement
Rep. Maxine Waters [D-CA]: Mr. Speaker and Members, I would first like to thank Chairman BARNEY FRANK for the leadership that he has provided on all of these issues related to this economic crisis that we have been confronted with. Some of these issues, not expected, were thrown into his lap in an unusual way. And he has been able to guide our caucus in our House in ways that help to bring us to the point of passing this kind of legislation, the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009.

So I rise in support of S. 896, the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009. As chairwoman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity, I believe that the housing components of this bill will be essential in helping families and communities.

I am especially pleased that the bill includes a provision I authored to ensure that the FHA loan programs are out of bounds for the very worst subprime lenders who created this mortgage mess in the first place.

S. 896 also includes legislation drafted by my subcommittee to reauthorize and expand the McKinney-Vento Homelessness Assistance Program. Given the increase in homelessness due to the foreclosure crisis, inclusion of the McKinney-Vento legislation is both timely and appropriate. In addition the bill includes vital protections for renters facing evictions as a result of their landlord's foreclosure.

Finally, I am pleased that I was able to work with Senator Leahy on making improvements to the Neighborhood Stabilization Program in order to allow States that receive the minimum allocation of funding to provide that funding to areas with homes at risk or in foreclosure.

While I believe S. 896 is an important piece of legislation, I am disappointed that it does not include a House-passed provision to allow judges to modify mortgages through bankruptcy. I am concerned that without this provision, we may continue to see an increase in the number of foreclosures.

I support S. 896, the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009.

And I would urge my colleagues to vote "yes."

**See video of Congresswoman Waters speaking on the floor of the House of Representatives on the bill**