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Republican Decision Leaves Homeowners Out in the ColdSalem-News.com
House Democrats decry move to squash foreclosure bills.
(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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