2:30 PM EDT
Randy Neugebauer, R-TX 19th

Mr. NEUGEBAUER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 3 minutes.

Mr. Speaker, I've spent nearly three decades in the housing business. And over those three decades the housing market has gone up and the housing market has had its soft moments, and one of the soft moments we're experiencing today. I liken it to the fact that the housing market has a cold. And when you go to the doctor and you talk to the doctor about a cold, what does he usually tell you? He says, you know, you're going to have to let it run its course. And quite honestly, over the years as

these housing downturns have happened, that exactly what we've had to do is let these markets run their course. And what we do know is that when they run their course, that they come back a lot stronger.

We have just come off an unprecedented run in housing where the rise in home ownership has risen to record levels. And how did we do that? Well, we did it with the marketplace.

One of the things about this bill that bothers me is that we leave people with the understanding that if their house goes down, the government will come in and make up the difference. We can't do that. People buy stocks, people buy bonds, people buy other assets. They go up, they go down. But it's not the role of the Federal Government to create a profit opportunity for people.

One of the things that we know is that, as the ranking member, I think, pointed out, is that we have 110 million people that are already meeting their own housing needs. Some of them are having problems, yes, they are, and we're sorry about that. We know about 51 million people in America have mortgages. And a lot of those folks are taking second jobs and doing things to make sure that they meet their rental payments and meet their housing payments. And you look at the fact that 94, 95 percent

of those people are making those payments, not only are they making them in full, but they're making them on time.

What we can't let the Federal Government be is the piggy bank when things don't go exactly the way we planned. I would like to go back over my 30 years in the real estate business and wish the Federal Government could have been my piggy bank when I bought property that didn't go in the right direction. Some of it went down, some of it went up. But what I do know is that it is important that the Federal Government not get into the business of trying to manipulate markets.

Markets are very efficient. In fact, they're a lot more powerful than the Federal Government. I know everybody here feels like they may be a powerful person and part of a powerful government, but quite honestly, these free markets are much more powerful than the Federal Government and they're much more efficient and they're much better able to deliver a housing market that the American people can sustain and count on.

And so that's one of the reasons that I rise in opposition to this bill today is, as I look across America--and I wish you could have been at a town hall meeting with me the other day where people weren't asking about mortgages, Mr. Speaker, they were asking when is this Congress going to finally do something about getting a comprehensive energy strategy for America? When are we going to open up the ability to drill in these other areas? And when are we going to be able to come up with more nuclear

power plants?

Mr. Speaker, the American people don't want to make their neighbor's payment when they're having a hard time making their own.