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Feb-08-2012 12:46printcomments

Republican Decision Leaves Homeowners Out in the Cold

House Democrats decry move to squash foreclosure bills.

Oregon capitol
Oregon capitol photo by Tim King

(SALEM) - Democrats in the House of Representatives condemned Republican inaction on a series of bills designed to address the housing crisis in Oregon.

After the deadline passed to schedule a hearing on Monday, and Democrats were unable to convince a Republican committee chair to discuss the measures, it appeared certain that the legislation would not move forward in the House this February session.

“The Oregon House of Representatives let a lot of people down yesterday,” said Rep. Carolyn Tomei (D-Milwaukie). “Middle class families all over the state were counting on us to take action to slow the rate of foreclosure and keep people in their homes.”

As a central component of their Action Plan for the 2012 Session, House Democrats had introduced a number of bills that would assist homeowners in staying out of foreclosure and protect their neighborhoods from the blight and danger often presented by unmaintained bank-owned properties. As of the scheduling deadline at 5pm on Monday, none of the foreclosure measures had been scheduled for a hearing.

In a last ditch plea to keep the protections alive, Rep. Lew Frederick (D-Portland) took to the House floor on Monday to urge Republican House members to re-think their approach to the foreclosure bills.

“I stand with those middle class families that depend on us to come through with some common sense protections this session, before it’s too late. I invite you to join me,” said Frederick.

Rep. Brad Witt (D-Clatskanie) pointed to a bill in the Oregon Senate as proof that standing up for middle class families didn’t have to be a partisan issue.

“Members of both parties are working to address foreclosure in the Senate, because this housing crisis affects people in every legislative district in the state, no matter their political affiliation. I’m puzzled as to why we couldn’t have that same level of cooperation on this issue in the House,” Witt said.

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stephen February 9, 2012 10:07 am (Pacific time)

how about this latest mortgage plan approved by obama?? 26 billion fine for banks over 3 years when they got 700 billion in our tax dollars to bailout their corruption. Its like a guy robbing a bank, getting 10,000 dollars, he gets caught, and a 1,000 fine. I would rob banks all day if I had that sweet deal.

stephen February 9, 2012 10:00 am (Pacific time)

Donald, you are 100% correct..Its a dog and pony show.. thanks for your post. Altho, the republicans do the same exact thing. It just goes back and forth, and this is how they control. Trying to make people think they have a choice.

Donald D February 8, 2012 5:03 pm (Pacific time)

This was a totally political move on the part of the House Democrats as they knew there were parts of the bills that would not go over well with Republicans. It's an election year and Tina Kotek and the House D's want to be able to say "See, Republicans are cold-hearted SOB's who want the banks to take your homes so they can get more donations from them." Pure crap.

Anonymous February 8, 2012 2:34 pm (Pacific time)

Most all of these bills would pass if there was a corresponding cut in the budget to offset the costs. Of course you can put it up to the voters to increase taxes to pay for it, for that's how we roll in Oregon, let the voters okay it... not a few who just want to spend what we do not have.

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