|1:13 PM EDT||
Richard Neal, D-MA 2nd
Mr. NEAL of Massachusetts. Mr. Speaker, let me see what I can do to lift the spirits of the gentleman from New York, my friend, Mr. Reynolds.
In fact, I think what is sad is that you are leaving us, that you're retiring. And I was searching hard to figure out the meaning of that acronym, based upon the fact that the Ways and Means Committee took this legislation up, and I want to reiterate, for the fourth time today, 12 of the 17 Republicans on the committee voted for the very bill that they are now all saying they are going to oppose. Forgive me. That is sad. How can you come to the floor and argue against the proposal that you voted
for in the committee when you agree with just about every part of the bill?
That's what's before us here. We have heard these arguments, and they have all said, we support most of what's in the bill, but they are prepared because of an institutional constraint with the Senate to vote against the legislation that they favor.
In my home State of Massachusetts, it's sixth in the Nation in foreclosure activity. In Springfield, the largest community in my district, 300 homes have been foreclosed this year and over 2,000 mortgages will reset to higher interest rates by the end of next year.
In response to the worsening housing crisis, Massachusetts this month initiated a new law that extends the foreclosure moratorium from 30 to 90 days. Other States are taking similar action, but, like Massachusetts, they need help from Congress.
Reports seem to suggest that the housing slide won't turn around until 2010. These tax provisions we are considering today for families and communities will help turn it around, I hope, much sooner. It certainly will help our economy and markets in general.
The President's housing proposals really haven't worked. It's time for the Congress to act. We are often accused of having a short memory, but I think all Members in this chamber remember the recent government-backed bailout of Bear Stearns, yes, the bailout of that mom-and-pop operation called Bear Stearns. If we can, with great urgency and enthusiasm, come to the aid of Wall Street, we have no excuse not to help the people who reside on Main Street.
I hope that my colleagues will support this legislation, and I ask unanimous consent to yield the remainder of my time to the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Frank).