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Enzi rebukes federal housing bailout

Senate passes second bloated economic stimulus bill

April 10, 2008

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., denounced the passage of a "quick-fix" housing stimulus package today and urged Congress to instead focus on long-term market solutions to provide relief for the nation’s ailing housing industry.

The Senate passed the Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008, championed by Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., today by an 84 to 12 vote. Enzi voted against the final bill because it means billions of taxpayer dollars would be spent to rescue those who made bad business decisions.

"You saw the wide margin by which this passed. Essentially that is because this looks like we are solving a problem. But what this bill really does is shove in pet ideas with no immediate impact. This is another example of a problem worth reacting to being over-reacted to. I'm even more worried about what will come out of the conference committee that will be charged with resolving differences between the House and Senate bills. Conference committees often invite earmarks and add to the bad ideas," Enzi said.

"I voted against it. Unless we constrain some spending, the dollar will weaken further which instantly results in higher energy prices since we buy much of it from foreign countries.

"I do not support a bailout of our housing industry. Last week, when Senate leadership announced they would be working together to develop a bipartisan piece of legislation, I hoped the final bill would include market-stimulating provisions from both sides of the aisle. My colleagues didn’t go with the workable solution – and that is why I could not vote for this piece of legislation."

Enzi supported portions of the bill that provide housing tax credits on the purchase of foreclosed homes and increase the cap on mortgage revenue bonds, but those provisions were not enough to support the entire bill.

The Senate-passed bill will now move to the House for consideration.