10:54 AM EDT
Bob Menendez, D-NJ

Mr. MENENDEZ. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Connecticut for his leadership. I rise to express my disappointment that it appears that the managers' package is being blocked by one or two of my friends on the other side of the aisle. This package includes, among other important provisions, my amendment, offered by family and children organizations across the country, to help children who are the silent victims of the housing crisis.

My amendment authorizes $30 million in additional funding into the existing McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Program to support children directly impacted by foreclosures. There are about 2 million children in this country, including 50,000 in New Jersey and over half a million Latino children nationwide, who will be directly impacted by the foreclosure crisis, placing them at risk of poor school performance, behavior problems, and other challenges as well.

While we provide lower interest rates supporting the homebuilding industry and reform mortgage lending practices, several children's organizations and educational organizations have asked for this amendment as a modest way that our Nation can support the nearly 2 million children who are suffering the consequences of decisions made completely outside their control.

The foreclosure crisis is damaging our economy. Let us not forget that the children who have no say, no ability to make a difference in their lives, are the real victims of this crisis and, even worse, they are the silent victims. It is not fair these children get lost in the paperwork or in the politics of one Member, and they deserve our full support.

This amendment was being cosponsored by several colleagues. We worked with Senator Enzi, who had original jurisdiction, along with Senator Kennedy, to get the language right. We appreciate Senator Shelby having it in the managers' package. If that cannot move forward, these children will be left unprotected. That is a disgrace.