H.R.1 - American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Making supplemental appropriations for job preservation and creation, infrastructure investment, energy efficiency and science, assistance to the unemployed, and State and local fiscal stabilization, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2009, and for other purposes. view all titles (38)

All Bill Titles

  • Popular: Economic stimulus bill as .
  • Short: American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 as introduced.
  • Short: Assistance for Unemployed Workers and Struggling Families Act as introduced.
  • Short: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 as introduced.
  • Official: Making supplemental appropriations for job preservation and creation, infrastructure investment, energy efficiency and science, assistance to the unemployed, and State and local fiscal stabilization, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2009, and for other purposes. as introduced.
  • Official: Making supplemental appropriations for job preservation and creation, infrastructure investment, energy efficiency and science, assistance to the unemployed, and State and local fiscal stabilization, for fiscal year ending September 30, 2009, and for other purposes. as introduced.
  • Short: Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act as introduced.
  • Short: Health Insurance Assistance for the Unemployed Act of 2009 as introduced.
  • Short: HITECH Act as introduced.
  • Short: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 as passed house.
  • Short: American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 as passed house.
  • Short: Assistance for Unemployed Workers and Struggling Families Act as passed house.
  • Short: Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act as passed house.
  • Short: Health Insurance Assistance for the Unemployed Act of 2009 as passed house.
  • Short: HITECH Act as passed house.
  • Short: Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2009 as passed house.
  • Short: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 as passed senate.
  • Short: American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 as passed senate.
  • Short: Assistance for Unemployed Workers and Struggling Families Act as passed senate.
  • Short: Cap Executive Officer Pay Act of 2009 as passed senate.
  • Short: Employ American Workers Act as passed senate.
  • Short: Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act as passed senate.
  • Short: Help Families Keep Their Homes Act of 2009 as passed senate.
  • Short: HITECH Act as passed senate.
  • Short: Jobs Accountability Act as passed senate.
  • Short: M-HITECH Act as passed senate.
  • Short: Medicare and Medicaid Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act as passed senate.
  • Short: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 as enacted.
  • Short: American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 as enacted.
  • Short: Assistance for Unemployed Workers and Struggling Families Act as enacted.
  • Short: Employ American Workers Act as enacted.
  • Short: Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act as enacted.
  • Short: HITECH Act as enacted.
  • Short: Jobs Accountability Act as enacted.
  • Short: TAA Health Coverage Improvement Act of 2009 as enacted.
  • Short: Trade and Globalization Adjustment Assistance Act of 2009 as enacted.
  • Popular: Economic stimulus bill.
  • Short: TAA Health Coverage Improvement Act of 2009 as passed senate.

Comments Feed

Displaying 181-210 of 674 total comments.

  • Comm_reply
    Anonymous 02/04/2009 7:34pm
    Link Reply
    + -1

    To anonymous, I am unemployed and would love to slap your smug Republican face. Watch out. Unless you have millions, karma has a way of catching up to you. It always does.

    I am a middle aged woman who has been looking for a job forever. You have no idea what the job market is like. You are rude, but that is what Republican trash does. They carp they blame, but they do crapola to fix things. So, polish off your meth equipment and keep cooking some more.

  • Anonymous 02/04/2009 7:48am

    Let’s not forget the millions of people who were denied the unemployment extensions simply because their base period didn’t include their most recent wages.

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  • Anonymous 02/04/2009 8:19am

    Good point. There sure are a lot of basements filling up with unemployed Americans. That will surely help stimulate the recovery of our economy! The House and Congress need to remember, if a horse cannot find water, there are no ducks!

  • Anonymous 02/04/2009 8:29am

    Don’t confuse them they already look like am mule starring at a new gate for answers requiring thought.

  • Anonymous 02/04/2009 12:31pm

    nO ONE HAS GIVEN ANY THOUGHT TO THE TAX PAYERS. YOU ARE WILLING TO SPEND ALL OF OUR TAX MONEY WITHOUT GIVING US ANY RELIEF. WE COULD USE A TAX HOLIDAY SO WE CAN DO SOME BUY WE WOULD LIKE TO.

  • Comm_reply
    Anonymous 02/04/2009 5:16pm

    Your comments are much more effective if you release the THE CAP LOCK.

  • Patriots 02/04/2009 5:21pm

    I have tried to avoid posting over here so far, but It’s time I speak up.

    What do those in our government think will happen in April when millions of Americans run out of unemployment benefits, and have zero income? Where will most of them go? On the streets? The last figures (outdated now) said for every job available there is four people looking for a job. What are the other 3/4 supposed to do to survive? Have they even talked about this? THAT IS ONLY TWO MONTHS AWAY! Are we going to end up like France?

    Let this be a wake up call to our elected leaders.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGuPKqbTZZE

  • Anonymous 02/05/2009 12:06am

    why not give every american 20,000 government gift card and use it only for bills, home loans, student loans of all types, credit cards, and if you have any money left over you can give it back to the tresuary, or take it as a check and pay taxes on it, im a democrat and it doesnt take a genius to figure out that we the people are broke so this porkulus bill is the same tactic the GOP did for rewarding the hard workers who put money in their coffers and got them elected they are just paying them back. I warned that this would happen last year at election time I was called a Republican, and I didnt want to see the “brotha” win it wasnt a black thing (im black too) folks it was a taxpayer wisely seeing through the rhetoric and realizing bull crap when I see it. My buddy throughout election said i rather be skinned by a dem than a repub. I told him you will be begging for ole George Bush back after the congessional dem not Obama mucks everything. Like Ace Ventura said “Man Im tired of being right!!!!”

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  • Comm_reply
    Anonymous 02/05/2009 4:35am

    Here are some interesting #’s.

    “IN GOD WE TRUST”
    “The Proposal”
    When a company falls on difficult times, one of the things that seems to happen is they reduce their staff and workers. The remaining workers need to find ways to continue to do a good job or risk that their job would be eliminated as well. Wall street, and the media normally congratulate the CEO for making this type of “tough decision”, and his board of directors gives him a big bonus.

    Our government should not be immune from similar risks.

    Therefore: Reduce the House of Representatives from the current 435 members to 218 members and Senate members from 100 to 50 (one per State). Also reduce remaining staff by 25%.
    &nbs p;
    Accomplish this over the next 8 years. (two steps / two elections) and of course this would require some redistricting.

    Some Yearly Monetary Gains Include:

    $44,108,400 for elimination of base pay for congress. (267 members X $165,200 pay / member / yr.)

    $97,175,000 for elimination of the above people’s staff. (estimate $1.3 Million in staff per each member of the House, and $3 Million in staff per each member of the Senate every year)

    $240,294 for the reduction in remaining staff by 25%.

    $7,500,000,000 reduction in pork barrel ear-marks each year. (those members whose jobs are gone. Current estimates for total government pork earmarks are at $15 Billion / yr)

    The remaining representatives would need to work smarter and would need to improve efficiencies. It might even be in their best interests to work together for the good of our country?

    We may also expect that smaller committees might lead to a more efficient resolution of issues as well. It might even be easier to keep track of what your representative is doing.

    Congress has more tools available to do their jobs than it had back in 1911 when the current number of representatives was established. (telephone, computers, cell phones to name a few)

    Note:
    Congress did not hesitate to head home when it was a holiday, when the nation needed a real fix to the economic problems.& nbsp; Also, we have 3 senators that have not been doing their jobs for the past 18+ months (on the campaign trail) and still they all have been accepting full pay. These facts alone support a reduction in senators & congress.

    Summary of opportunity:

    $ 44,108,400 reduction of congress members.

    $282,100, 000 for elimination of the reduced house member staff.

    $150,000,000 for eliminat ion of reduced senate member staff.

    $59,675,000 for 25% reduction of staff for remaining house members.

    $37,500,000 for 25% reduction of staff for remaining senate members.

    $7,500,000,000 reduction in pork added to bills by the reduction of congress members.

    $8,073,383,400 per year, estimated total savings. (that’s 8-BILLION just to start!)

    Big business does these types of cuts all the time.

    If Congresspersons were required to serve 20, 25 or 30 years (like everyone els e) in order to collect retirement benefits there is no telling how much we would save. Now they get full retirement after serving only ONE term.

    IF you are happy how the Congress spends our taxes, then just ignore this message. IF you are NOT at all happy, then I assume you know what to do.

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  • Comm_reply
    Anonymous 02/05/2009 5:55am

    Are you done playing with your yes-sir puppet!

  • Comm_reply
    Anonymous 02/05/2009 5:08am

    Would you consider spearheding a petition for action! Maybe Lou Dobbs would help. These Legislators are in a Secret Society Bubble, and need a “Stimulus Package” like this from the people. If they were held to account like the rest of Americans we wouldn’t be having this conversation. The House and Congress need a huge “Tune-UP”! I would be happy to co-sponsor this movement and do my part. It would be nice to know how many other American would pop out of the cake and get involved with this double standard issue.

  • Comm_reply
    Anonymous 02/05/2009 5:25am

    I am one of the 3 million long-term unemployed looking for a job that simply does not exist, and this Stimulus Package does nothing for those of us that have been jettission by our former employers and dropped kicked by this Legislation like expendable surplus. I’m sure all the current unemployed Americans would have ample time to get signature while standing in the massive unemployment lines. Lets get-er-done!

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  • Anonymous 02/05/2009 5:28am

    COULD SOMEONE PLEASE MAKE A PIE CHART OF THE MONEY SPENT IN THIS BILL?

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  • Anonymous 02/05/2009 6:16am

    I think the American public is finally fed up! To take your thoughts one step further consider this. Why couldn’t the Legislative branch essentially absorb the responsibilities of the Presidency and executive branch of government. This would consist of a streamlined body of elected representative, an equal number from each state, forming the new legislature, which would be known simply as the Senate. The “party” system of Democrats, Republican, Independents, et al., would uncomplicate itself into Liberals and Conservative, who will debate and vote on each proposed bill and law in nationally televised sessions. Requirements for Senate candidates would be stringent and continuously monitored. For example, senators would be prohibitied from having any past or present salaried position with any company that has ever had or might ever have a professional or contractual connection to federal, state, or local government, and each senator must submit to random drug and alcohol testing throughout his or her term! Wouldn’t the long-term effects of this reorganized government and closely examined body of lawmakers be a return of legislative accountability and public trust? State Governments would operate as smaller mirror images of the national senate!

  • Comm_reply
    Anonymous 02/06/2009 8:08am

    Are you nuts? No way in hell I want the Constitution to be rewritten. Check and balances of the three branches of government and the right thing. NO WAY!

  • Comm_reply
    Anonymous 02/06/2009 8:20am

    No I’m not nuts, but you can’t say were in this together because I wasn’t allowed in on what was going on. While our masters were overseeing all the corruption, greed, deceit, etcetera….! Hey I got some good news!, and it ain’t because I saved a bunch of money on my 401K, Job, and my current equitable worth! Checks and balances………

  • Comm_reply
    Anonymous 02/06/2009 8:23am

    You must be a Republican. Why didn’t you offer that idea up when “Worthless” and “Vader” were in office?

  • Comm_reply
    Anonymous 02/06/2009 8:46am

    They will need a gymnasium to hold the chapter on those two frivolous and vindictive crooks!

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  • OldGuy 02/05/2009 7:20am

    RE: Criteria Needed for What to Include in Recovery Act!

    The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 appears to lack any criteria for what is allowed in it. Here are three criteria that might be applied as a screen for items in the bill:

    1.Items that will result in jobs, increase the gross national product, and result in something that will provide a long-term competitive advantage.
    2.Items that will provide relief to people being hurt by the economic crisis.
    3.Items that will provide for repair of factors causing America to be less competitative in the long run.

    The remainder of this discussion will focus on Item 1 above. It is the bedrock of this bill, and the other items are moot if Item 1 is not sufficient.

    Economic experts keep saying that none of the stimulus plans put into effect during the Great Depression worked and that only World War II finally pulled the United States out of the Depression. These same experts also opine that no stimulus plan or war (ever), with the exception of World War II, expanded the U.S. economy.

    Seems like the senators and congressmen worried about the effectiveness of “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009” should be asking their economic advisors what made World War II such a strong economic engine. Then they could use this information in the current recovery bill.

    At least three features of WWII come to mind that might have made the period uniquely economically stimulative:

    1.The federal government was driving most of American industry from the top down (not very democratic).
    2.Industry was driven to quickly learn how to efficiently mass produce all sorts of things.
    3.There was a broad spectrum of ongoing science research projects that led to new products for American industry for the next 30 years.

    I’m not an economist and am not certain how to apply the above three items to our current situation. However, my 50 years as an engineer and memories of WW II and post-war years suggest that if the above WWII experiences are applied to the current situation, the U.S. should be pursuing the following strategies (either as part of the current legislation or future legislation):

    1.The federal government should start research contracts with a high level of funding, a great deal of oversight, and an urgency that progress needs to be rapid. The research should be along the lines of current national needs: green energy, medical, transportation, etc. The research should include some basic research as well as directed research. An example of basic research would be studying some properties of the nucleus of atoms. Directed research might be trying to genetically manipulate algae or bacteria so that they efficiently transform carbon dioxide into oil.
    2.The federal government should start a massive program to revitalize our electric grid and to mass produce equipment so that 10 percent of our electric energy is supplied by wind in two years. This must be done with World War II urgency, a mind toward cost efficiency, economy of scale and a long-term perspective.
    3.The federal government should initiate a massive program for mass transit within our major cities. Backbone systems should be completed and servicing cities in three years (doubters look at what was done in WWII). This will include contracts for mass production of electric trains (something for the auto companies to bid on). Again this must be done with World War II urgency, a mind toward cost efficiency, economy of scale and a long-term perspective.
    4.Start shovel-ready projects to improve U.S. infrastructure.

    I am not wedded to Items 2 and 3, but they are examples of very large programs that would bring a national focus and result in a visible long-term benefit for the funds expended.

  • GiveMeLiberty 02/05/2009 7:36am

    This is, er, WAS supposed to be a short term quick fix bill. Power grids, oil, coal, blah blah blah. Billions and billions, but no short term quick impact.

    What was the root cause of this issue? Mortgage foreclosures causing loss of property values spiraling thru the rest of the economy. Why then, shouldn’t the QUICK FIX

  • GiveMeLiberty 02/05/2009 7:40am

    This is, er, WAS supposed to be a short term quick fix bill. Power grids, oil, coal, blah blah blah. Billions and billions, but no short term quick impact.

    What was the root cause of this issue? Mortgage foreclosures causing loss of property values spiraling thru the rest of the economy. Why then, shouldn’t the QUICK FIX directly target this issue. NONE OTHERS! Don’t muddy the water or cloud the issues. Keep it simple. Provide some quick effective relief for mortgages in jeopardy. How do you ask?

    Don’t sit back and blame the government for economic recovery failures. It’s our government which you can petition at any time. Read, think and take action.

    Four months ago in a published letter to the Washington Post I suggested that we develop a realistic plan for recovery by using our market power to drive down mortgage interest rates into the four (4%) range to stop foreclosures, stabilize the housing market and redirect the economy. Two weeks ago a major home builder offered 4% mortgage loans with great success. In the meantime our government has concentrated its recovery efforts by throwing money at the economy to see what puts out the fire and so far I only see more flames. Before we deficit spend $850B billion dollars on a “recovery plan” and before we give away an additional $350B billion of public money to private banks, we should individually ask ourselves three questions:

    1. Will a $1,000.00 tax cut for a year or two change our personal economic situation? Or will an extra $3,100.00 per year for the next 30 years have a more powerful impact? If you answered no to $1,000.00 and yes to $3,100.00 for 30 years, then take a few minutes to read this plan. If you believe it has a realistic chance of success, please share this e-mail with family, friends and your elected representatives because collectively we’ve lost about $12T trillion dollars in home equity and stock market wealth in the last 18 months – about $650 billion dollars per month.

    2. Will an extra $850B billion dollars of government spending spread out over the next few years, stimulate an economy that is bleeding $650 billion dollars of value each month? If your answer is “No” or “I don’t think so” then read on, because help, in the form of a realistic recovery plan is about 90 seconds away.

    3. If the housing market was still going strong, would the banks have continued lending? If your answer is “Yes”, then giving another $350B billion dollars of public money to private banks is not the long term solution to the problem because that is not the source of the trouble.

    The reason for our recent financial meltdown was not that banks did not have money to loan; ultimately financial institutions stopped lending because of their fears about the overall health of the economy caused by the housing market collapse. So let’s put out the fire by getting rid of the source of the flame, foreclosures.

    The spike in foreclosures increased the housing supply, which reduces the value of our homes, which shrinks consumer confidence and spending, which contracts our economic activity, which triggers job losses, more foreclosures, and unless broken, this self sustaining cycle could lead to a full blown depression, very quickly as we have little or no confidence in the market because we don’t have a realistic plan for recovery.

    In early 2008, we tried under President Bush, a $100 billion dollar economic stimulus plan. Each household got a nice check in the $1,000.00 range, but our wealth still evaporated at the rate of $650 billion dollars per month. So spending that money actually hurt the economy and our chances for recovery because now we must pay interest on those funds that did nothing to help our country.

    Will President Obama’s $850 billion dollar recovery plan reverse the recession, or better stated, will the plan turn around the course of foreclosures, stabilize the housing market and restore consumer confidence in the economy? $100 billion dollars of this money is a tax reduction that will again pay each household about $1,000.00. This money did not work with Bush and cannot last under Obama because the tax reductions will drive our deficit through the roof and ruin our most valuable asset — our U.S. Treasury guarantee. The remaining $750 billion dollars will help somewhat, eventually, but it will take years (which we do not have) for that spending to take hold in our economy which continues to lose $650 billion dollars in value each month.

    We must focus our efforts to get the most short and long term benefit from our time and money. A sure way to bring foreclosures under control AND to simultaneously stimulate the economy now and over the foreseeable future is to make our existing mortgages more affordable through lower interest rates. However, there is a major roadblock to the refinance recovery: the Loan To Value (LTV) ratio rule. This rule provides that a bank can only lend you eighty (80%) percent of the value of your home which means, at this time, that approximately half (30 million of the 60 million) of households with mortgages cannot refinance because their homes have lost so much value. Who has an extra forty ($40,000.00) thousand dollars or so sitting around to pay down their existing mortgage in order to refinance?

    If we temporarily relaxed the LTV rule, a family with an average sized loan ($220,000.00) currently at 7% interest, that could refinance that loan to 5% (current rate) without reducing the principal, would have an extra $3,100.00 net in their pocket each year for thirty years, which would give a huge boost to consumer confidence because not only would you have $3,100.00 this year, you would have the knowledge, this year, that you could have an extra $3,100.00 each year, for the next 29 years. $3,100.00 for thirty years is better than a $1,000.00 for two.

    To ensure a long term stable housing market and because of money supply issues, we should think about a mixed terrace of mortgage terms and interest rates, reverting to market rate in the future. Think about three (3%) for three years, then converting to market rate (real market rate, not some inflated prime plus number), and four (4%) for six years then converting to market rate and currently a five (5%) percent 30 year fixed. Since the average family moves every 7 years, we would have a return to full market interest in about 7 to 10 years.

    Too long you think? — let’s keep in mind that coincidentally, there was a 7 to 10 year run up of unregulated conditions that lead to this current market collapse. We failed to perform routine maintenance then, so we’re forced to do some costly rebuilding now, and it will take time. Whether we like it or not, we’re on the hook directly or indirectly for mortgage losses and we’re much better off guaranteeing 3% to 5% loans rather than 7% to 9% loans.

    The short term three year 3% rate would be for families whose home values are underwater – the home value is less than their mortgage. Using the average sized loan of $220,000.00, those converting from 7% down to 3% would have an extra $6,200.00 per year net, in household income for three years. However, I suggest that underwater loans should be structured so that one-half of the savings, $3,100.00, is automatically diverted each year to reduce their mortgage principal and the remaining $3,100.00 goes to the family.

    We should also require a few measures of financial discipline on those that qualify for the special LTV loans; no equity lines of credit and no second mortgages. If you want to tap into your home equity you should refinance under traditional LTV terms. Perhaps those that walked away from a mortgage in the past five years, leaving their neighbors holding the financial bag, should be barred from qualifying for these special LTV loans.

    Our current system of helping only those that are delinquent on their mortgages will quickly be swamped because now the only realistic way for 30 million families to get mortgage relief, is to stop paying their mortgage. I believe a better system is to incentivize people to continue paying their mortgage. If families know they can be disqualified from special no or low equity LTV refinance loans, foreclosures will immediately drop, just on this announcement.

    These no or low equity LTV refinancing loans will bring the foreclosures under control. However, in order to fully stabilize the housing market we must reduce the housing supply from its current 10 month supply (average home takes 10 months to sell) to a buyer/seller neutral supply of approximately five months. In order to do this we should also think about temporarily reducing down payment ratios from 20% to 10% for new purchase money mortgages and gradually work down payments back up to 20% until such time as we have a buyer/seller neutral market. Again the same measures of financial fairness (disqualification for walk-aways) and discipline (no second mortgages/no home equity lines of credit) should apply to this program.

    Where’s all this mortgage money going to come from? Right now in this global recession, our U.S. Treasury issues the most secure investments in the world because of the power of our guarantee. Currently, investors buy short term U.S Treasury bonds at or near zero (0%) percent interest because at least they’re not losing money as investors would in almost any other asset. At present we pay 3.25% interest on long term U.S. treasuries which provides enough spread to fund the current five (5%) percent 30 year mortgages. In a world desperate for confidence through certainty, there is a large demand for mid-term investments that will support three year mortgages in the three (3%) range and six year mortgages around four (4%) percent.

    The silver lining to this economic storm is that we can heavily influence our mortgage rates by only offering our guarantee on our mortgage terms. A classic win win situation. The investor gets a guaranteed positive return at a time when most other assets are declining and we receive a lower interest rate.

    Another shared benefit is that reduced mortgage interest rates not only puts more money into our individual pockets, it also puts more money into our collective pocket (the U.S. Treasury) because our mortgage interest tax deductions will be less with lower interest rates. This will reduce the deficit and increase our guarantee borrowing power. This extra revenue will also make it easier in the future if we have to throw some skin in the game to make the interest spreads work or even if we have to establish temporarily our own financial company like the Resolution Trust Company to manage the mortgage funding. Either way we’re investing in ourselves, not in a bank that is only looking out for its own self interest, not ours. Quick aside: Why didn’t we or shouldn’t we at least extract a reduction in credit card interest from banks that had/have credit card operations that took or will take our bailout money? Ten (10%) percent interest would still be high but a lot better than twenty (20%) percent interest.

    Philosophically, I think we all want the market to make economic decisions rather than have our elected representatives pick and chose. However, government has a role in stabilizing the housing market and the economy in general and the low equity LTV and reduced down payment mortgage programs does both: it ensures market stability and puts money into the hands of people so that we can make economic decisions. Finally, what about the 40 million households that do not have a mortgage? The lower income families in this group are probably the ones that would benefit the most from a tax break and on a purely numerical analysis, a tax break for this group would have the most stimulus effect for the economy because they’re more likely to spend the tax break. If we decide to implement a temporary low/no equity LTV and reduced down payment mortgage programs, we should probably scale back the tax reduction to keep our deficit as low as possible to safeguard the power of our guarantee so that we can get the lowest possible interest rates for our mortgages.

    This is our economy and it’s time to concentrate our efforts for three reasons: 1. Remember your answer to the first question: Will a $1,000.00 tax reduction for a year or two stop foreclosures and stimulate the economy or will an extra $3,100.00 for 30 years meet the challenge? 2. Whether we like it or not, we’re on the hook directly or indirectly for mortgage losses so we’re much better off guaranteeing 3% to 5% loans rather than 7% to 9% loans.

    You may not agree with all the provisions of the temporary special LTV refinance and low down payment mortgage programs, but if you agree that this is where we should focus our recovery efforts, then let your elected representative know your position and at the same time tell them that the days of spouting off political party doctrine and passing off responsibility with the blame game are over, bipartisanship and accountability are in and we need to invest in ourselves, very quickly.

    I have personally emailed the President, Nancy Pelosi and my state senators. What will you do?


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