Scroll down for updates…roll call vote added
Senator John McCain, who drew criticism last month after he warned against broad government action to solve the deepening mortgage crisis, pivoted Thursday and called for the government to help qualified homeowners with subprime mortgages refinance and get federally guaranteed 30-year mortgages.
“There is nothing more important than keeping alive the American dream to own your home, and priority number one is to keep well-meaning, deserving home owners who are facing foreclosure in their homes,” Mr. McCain said in Brooklyn, where he held a round-table discussion with small-business owners.
Mr. McCain, an Arizona Republican, said his plan would apply only to people who have subprime mortgages on their primary residences who could show that they would be able to meet the terms of a new, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. He also called for the Department of Justice to investigate the lending industry.
Mr. McCain did not mention how much his plan would cost, but his economic advisers were scheduled to brief reporters later in the day.
Here’s the transcript of his remarks.
Bottom line cost to the taxpayers: At least $3 to $10 billion.
As for this statement– “There is nothing more important than keeping alive the American dream to own your home”–I can think of a few things more important:
Rewarding thrift. Getting government out of the business of shielding individuals and corporations from the consequences of their actions. Refraining from interventions that will only encourage mortgage defaults.
Update: The latest Senate subprime boondoggle passed this afternoon, 84-12. I’ll post the roll call vote when it goes up.
Rick Moran weighs in:
The Senate passed a bill that is supposed to deal with the crisis in foreclosures today by an 84-12 margin.
The only problem is that it doesn’t deal with foreclosures which means House Democrats are going to have a field day loading it up with goodies for deadbeats.
Maybe they’ll give a tax break to people who trash their foreclosed on homes before skedaddling.
The Senate bill would reward home builders who overbuilt during the housing boom while giving speculators who purchase these homes a huge tax break.
If I sound a little skeptical it’s because this is an election year and Congress must be seen as “doing something about the problem” when the best course is probably letting the economy wring out the failures and deadbeats while rewarding those who didn’t go off half cocked during the boom.
Here’s the roll call vote: