4:12 PM EDT
Keith Ellison, D-MN 5th

Mr. ELLISON. I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chair, the middle class is shrinking and deficits are rising because the Republicans are giving a pass to special interests who cheated some homeowners and wrecked our economy. Instead of working to keep the middle class families in their homes, the Republican plan is to foreclose on the American middle class.

The amendment I have right here in front of you describes findings which talk about the positive benefits of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. This program is a good program, and no matter what may happen here today, the record should reflect the benefits of this program. This program was good, and the amendment offers language which sets forth findings, and the findings state the positive impacts of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, including assisting local governments, supporting

jobs, and impacting approximately 100,000 properties.

The highlights of this amendment about the Neighborhood Stabilization Program talk about the positive benefits to the communities that the Neighborhood Stabilization Program benefited--it helped local governments, and the fact is, Mr. Chair, local governments really did benefit from this program, and the record should reflect and the bill should report language that talks about those benefits.

I'd like to just say this as well, Mr. Chair. The fact is that it is true that once an abandoned property is sitting there on the tax rolls after a certain amount of time somebody may at some point buy it, as the gentleman on the other side says. But what happens in the meantime? In the meantime, the grass grows, dead cats and dogs get left there. In the meantime, the windows are broken. In the meantime, people's property values plummet. In the meantime, we have an attractive nuisance where young

people might be pulled in and taken advantage of. Horrible stories have happened, Mr. Chair.

So the gentleman has been right in his argument that sometime in the future maybe somebody will buy this rundown, abandoned, stripped-out property with no copper left in it, with neighbors who have just been decimated in the value of their homes, but that would be a far cry from what we could do. And if we're going to terminate this program, which has helped so many local governments, we should at least put language and findings in the record which reflect the positive aspects of this program,

including the 93,000 jobs that we're getting rid of and [Page: H1879]

the 100,000 properties that we've already helped, and the more that we could help.

I reserve the balance of my time.

4:15 PM EDT
Gary G. Miller, R-CA 42nd

Mr. GARY G. MILLER of California. If you want to talk about attractive nuisances, let's talk about next April when people have to pay their taxes. You're going to find out that government has become an incredible attractive nuisance to most people.

We're talking about middle class is shrinking, yeah, we're taxing them to death, and we're not only taxing them to death, but we're spending money on programs like this that is not an investment but is just a giveaway of tax dollars. Now we say we can't find the data to support that we bought 100,000 properties, but let's say we bought 100,000 properties. Somebody has the money, the $6 billion going on $7 billion, that we've given them. That's about 20,000 homes per State. Now you break that

down to high-impact counties, compared to the millions of homes out there that are in foreclosure, these 100,000 homes have already been abandoned or foreclosed. I will say abandoned because the other side of the aisle wants to talk about abandoned homes, but they're homes that somebody does not live in anymore, and the people who lost them, yes, they lost them.

And how many jobs were created? Nobody can definitively give me a number because nobody knows for sure how much money was spent on jobs. Now, we can say we spent $6 billion, but understand clearly, we bought properties with the bulk of that money. Now, how much money did we spend after the local groups, the nonprofits took 17 percent off the top for overhead and expenses, how much did we spend for jobs? Now, if we had taken that $6 billion, going on $7 billion, and invested it in residential

construction, just $1 billion, as I said, in residential construction creates $5.5 million in wages. It creates $1.98 billion in spending on goods and services as a result of the new earnings and profits that were created through that.

Now, those goods and services, those companies employ workers. The wages are paid to workers. So you can definitively come up with a number based on a $1 billion investment that we would generate in the economy. Now, we spent $6 billion, and if we were able to create what $1 billion would have created in private residential construction, we're probably lucky, but the problem with that is investing in residential construction is different than giving $6 billion away of the taxpayers' money.

Now, the people listening to this debate understand, when you write your check to the Federal Government next month, we just gave away $6 billion of it, we're going to give away another billion. Now, that infuriates me. I would assume it infuriates you. You tell me, middle class America, what this does to help you? I told you the amounts earlier of how much you can earn to buy a house or how little you might have to pay for the house, depending on whoever bought the house what they want to charge

and who they want to sell it to.

So the basis I would argue here is the amendment does nothing. I oppose it.

I reserve the balance of my time.

4:19 PM EDT
Keith Ellison, D-MN 5th

Mr. ELLISON. Mr. Chairman, let me only add this: that this language, which should be put in the bill and this amendment calls for, sets forth in the record the positive impacts of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, which should be memorialized in the bill, things like job creation, saving the neighborhood, saving local governments exorbitant costs. The Republican caucus has not created a single job, and now they're even eliminating jobs.

I yield back the balance of my time.

[Time: 16:20]

4:19 PM EDT
Gary G. Miller, R-CA 42nd

Mr. GARY G. MILLER of California. The facts speak for themselves. When you can say $1.3 billion was given away to nongovernmental agencies--and I have listed the groups, and I have told you how many millions of your dollars were given to these groups that they get to keep--they are not coming back to us right now. These people are going to keep these moneys, and there is a wide array of things they can use them for. This was a bad investment. In fact, it was not an investment. It was a bad giveaway.

I yield back the balance of my time.

The CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Ellison).

The question was taken; and the Chair announced that the noes appeared to have it.

4:20 PM EDT
Gary G. Miller, R-CA 42nd

Mr. GARY G. MILLER of California. I yield back the balance of my time.

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Richardson).

The amendment was rejected.



The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 6 printed in part B of House Report 112-34.