New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security, and Consumer Protection Act

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The New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security, and Consumer Protection Act or "Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008" (H.R. 3221) was a bill in the 110th Congress "to provide needed housing reform and for other purposes." (Official title.)[1]

Contents

Current status


Bill summary

  • Appropriates $4 billion for assistance to states and local governments for the redevelopment of abandoned and foreclosed properties (Sec. 301).[1]
  • Allows a tax credit of up to $7,000 for the purchase of a qualified principal residence during the taxable year (Sec. 603).[1]
  • Requires the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and the Commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to consult with foreclosure prevention organizations and develop a plan to improve the FHA's loss mitigation process (Sec. 125).[1]
  • Adds people who have a reduction in income due to divorce or death, or who have an increase in expenses due to medical expenses, divorce, unexpected property damages not covered by insurance, or a large property tax increase to the eligibility list for homeownership counseling (Sec. 127).[1]
  • Allows a real property tax deduction on the amount of state and local real property taxes paid during the taxable year of up to $500 for individuals and $1,000 for joint returns (Sec. 604).[1]
  • Temporarily increases the cap on qualified mortgage bond proceeds that can be used to assist individuals in refinancing sub-prime home loans to $10 billion in 2008 (Sec. 602).[1]
  • Extends expiring tax credits until Jan 1, 2010 for the establishment of certain facilities that produce power by using wind energy, biomass energy, geothermal energy, solar energy, small irrigation power, landfill gas, trash combustion, refined coal production, and hydropower, while also expanding these tax credits so as to apply to certain new marine and hydrokinetic facilities (Sec. 1011).[1]
  • Extends certain tax credits for the development of solar energy until January 1, 2017 and for the development of fuel cell energy until December 31, 2017 (Sec. 1012).[1]
  • Extends the expiration date of the "residential energy efficient property" credit (which provides a tax credit of 30 percent of expenditures on certain types of solar energy) from December 31, 2008 until December 31, 2009, and removes the $2,000 credit limit on solar electric energy (Sec. 1013).[1]
  • Extends the authority to issue "clean renewable energy bonds" until December 31, 2009, and increases the limitation on the cumulative value of the bonds from $800 million to $1.2 billion (Sec. 1014).[1]
  • Extends the expiration date of the "new energy efficient home" credit (which applies to certain new homes that meet specific energy conservation criteria) from December 31, 2008 to December 31, 2010 (Sec. 1022).[1]
  • Extends the "energy efficient commercial buildings" deduction until December 31, 2009, and increases the maximum deduction from $1.80 to $2.25 per square foot (Sec. 1023).[1]
  • Modifies energy efficient appliance credit levels and extends certain credits through the 2010 calendar year (Sec. 1024).[1]

NOTE: This bill was passed by the House as an energy related bill. The Senate substituted the text of this bill to make it a foreclosure related bill with some energy tax provisions.[1]


Key votes

Same for all scorecards:

Scored vote

Scorecard: U.S. Chamber of Commerce 2007 House Scorecard

Org. position: Nay

Description:

"Despite the Chamber’s strong opposition, the House approved 220-190 an amendment to H.R. 3221, New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security, and Consumer Protection Act, to establish an unworkable 15 percent nationwide renewable electricity mandate. A requirement that 15 percent of electricity in every state come from renewables (wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, ocean, tidal, and incremental hydropower) is unworkable. Such a mandate would have ignored clean energy sources such as nuclear energy and clean coal and would have resulted in a wealth transfer from states without capacity for renewable energy to states abundant in renewable resources. A similar mandate was rejected by the Senate, and it was not included in the energy legislation that became law."

(Original scorecard available at: http://www.uschamber.com/issues/legislators/07htv_house.htm)

The bill originally passed the House as an energy bill by a margin of 241-172 on August 4, 2007.


U.S. Senate record vote 823, 110th Congress, Session 1

On September 4, 2007, it was placed on the calendar in the Senate with the title:

Moving the United States toward greater energy independence and security, developing innovative new technologies, reducing carbon emissions, creating green jobs, protecting consumers, increasing clean renewable energy production, and modernizing our energy infrastructure, and to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide tax incentives for the production of renewable energy and energy conservation.[2]


The bill was later amended in the Senate to become a housing bill.


Same for all scorecards:

Scored vote

Scorecard: Drum Major Institute 2008 Senate Scorecard

Org. position: Nay

Description:

"The federal government and the mortgage industry’s failure to address the subprime mortgage and foreclosure crisis adequately could result in as many as 1.9 million Americans losing their homes in 2008 and 2009. Already foreclosure filings have increased 60% from February 2007 to February 2008. Extending the same bankruptcy protections to primary residences that currently apply to luxury yachts and vacation homes is not only fair, but would prevent 600,000 families from losing their homes to foreclosure. Strengthened bankruptcy protection is also beneficial to middle-class families who are not themselves facing foreclosure: protecting these 600,000 families from foreclosure would save neighbors of foreclosed properties $72.5 billion in wealth that would otherwise be lost to reduced property values. Because the Helping Families Save Their Homes in Bankruptcy Amendment restricts eligibility for bankruptcy mortgage restructuring to homeowners who are unable to afford currently existing mortgages, the measure is unlikely to cause an increase in mortgage interest rates: only homes in danger of foreclosure will qualify and the risk of foreclosure is already calculated into current interest rates."

(Original scorecard available at: http://www.drummajorinstitute.org/library/report.php?ID=87)

Scored vote

Scorecard: National Journal 2008 Senate Scorecard

Org. position: Aye

Description:

"Kill an amendment allowing bankruptcy judges to adjust mortgage terms"

(Original scorecard available at: http://www.nationaljournal.com/njmagazine/cs_20090228_4813.php)

In July 2008, the House and Senate agreed on a new version of the bill.[1] It passed the House on July 23, 2008 by a margin of 272-152.



And it passed the Senate on July 26, 2008.


Same for all scorecards:

Scored vote

Scorecard: Americans for Democratic Action 2008 Senate Scorecard

Org. position: Aye

Description:

"Reid (D-NV) motion to accept a House bill to grant authority to the Treasury Department to extend new credit and buy stock in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It would create an independent regulator for the two mortgage giants and the Federal Home Loan Bank System, overhaul the Federal Housing Administration, allowing it to insure up to $300 billion worth of new, refinanced loans for struggling mortgage borrowers. It also includes a $7,500 tax credit for some first-time homebuyers, higher loan limits for FHA-backed loans, a standard tax deduction for property taxes and revenue-raisers to offset part of the costs. It also would authorize $3.9 billion in grants to states and localities to purchase and rehabilitate foreclosed properties, and increase the federal debt limit to $10.6 trillion."

(Original scorecard available at: http://www.adaction.org/pages/publications/voting-records.php)


President Bush signed the bill into law on July 30, 2008.[1]

Supporters

  • Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition
  • Builders League of South Jersey
  • Fannie Mae
  • National Association of Home Builders
  • National Association of Realtors
  • National Neighborworks Association
  • Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association

Opponents

  • FreedomWorks

Articles and resources


See also

References

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 Project Vote Smart's info page on New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security, and Consumer Protection Act (H.R.3221).
  2. THOMAS page on H.R.3221.
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