2:55 PM EDT
Tim Mahoney, D-FL 16th

Mr. MAHONEY of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of the American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act.

I must say that I'm extremely disappointed that the President and many of my friends on the other side of the aisle have expressed opposition to this legislation. I think it's telling that Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke has expressed his support for the bill.

Mr. Speaker, the President and some of my Republican colleagues have called this plan a bailout. Clearly, the party that claims to represent big business doesn't understand business.

This plan requires current mortgage holders who choose to participate, not taxpayers, to realize the loss of at least 15 percent. And by putting homeowners in mortgages with rates and payments that we know they can afford, we are minimizing the risk of future defaults. And by doing so, we are injecting confidence and liquidity back into credit markets, thereby taking an important step to ensure the economy has the capital to begin digging ourselves out of this recession.

For anyone who calls this a bailout of risky investors, I would invite them to come to my district and meet some of the thousands of families who are in foreclosure. These are families with dreams and hopes. They, like everyone in this room, were trying as best they could to live the American Dream of homeownership. These are not frauds and cheats. They are firefighters and teachers who were forced into the subprime mortgage market in order to realize their dream.

The only moral hazard before us today would be our failure to act. If we are to protect our economy, our families, and the American Dream of homeownership, pass this amendment today.