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.