Video archive of the US Congress

House Proceeding 03-16-09 on Mar 16th, 2009 :: 0:35:30 to 0:44:05
Total video length: 2 hours 35 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Barbara Lee

0:35:27 to 0:35:47( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Lee: mr. speaker, i would now like to yield to our chairperson, the honorable barbara lee from california. the gentlewoman from california, ms. lee. mr. lee: thank you very much -- ms. lee: thank you very much. first let me thank representative fudge and her staff for working with the staff of the congressional black caucus to organize these

Barbara Lee

0:35:30 to 0:44:05( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Barbara Lee

Barbara Lee

0:35:48 to 0:36:08( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Lee: c.b.c. special orders every monday that congress is in session. we will have this special order. this takes quite a bit of time and commitment, but congresswoman fudge, i just want to yoknow you continue to play such an important role by ensuring that our voices are heard, that the country hears

Barbara Lee

0:36:09 to 0:36:33( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Lee: with regard to the positions of the congressional black caucus and our work and want to thank you and your is staff for your steady and consistent work on this. tonight, of course, as congress woman funnel indicated, we're talking about the foreclosure -- congresswomanudge indited, we're talking about

Barbara Lee

0:36:34 to 0:36:55( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Lee: the foreclosure problems. it dreve some of our largest financial companies -- drove some of our largest financial services companies into bankruptcy. we have be truthful about this. the economic and fiscal policies of the bush administration have left our country in a mess. they created this mess. and many of us, and i remember this very vividly, we warned

Barbara Lee

0:36:56 to 0:37:17( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Lee: about this impending housing crisisears ago. as a member of the financial services committee for eight years, i remember expressing my concern about the housing bubble and the subprime loans that were fueling the housing crisis and also the consequences to our economy if the bubble ever popped. but our warnings fell on deaf

Barbara Lee

0:37:18 to 0:37:38( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Lee: ears. i consistently questioned former fed chairman ala greenspan about the growing housing bubble and coming from california, we saw this each and every day. the increasing rates of foreclosure and the rapid growth of subprime and other exotic home mortgages. but as this cris was brewing, the bush administration and the federal reserve and h.u.d.

Barbara Lee

0:37:39 to 0:38:01( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Lee: turned a deaf ear. now, equity in one's home is really the primary path in our country for accumulating wealth. to send one's children to college, to start a small business and to really enhance the quality of life. now this american dream of home ownership has turned into a

Barbara Lee

0:38:02 to 0:38:24( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Lee: nightmare for millions. the impact of a foreclosure also extends far beyond the personal tragedy of the family that loses their home. the foreclosure crisis now has placed property values throughout the neighborhood, it reduces the revenues for local anstate governments, it causes increased prices in the

Barbara Lee

0:38:25 to 0:38:45( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Lee: rental markets and the abandoned homes often become the blight of our communities and we took a bus to my own community and saw neighborhoods just totally in shambles as a result of homes that had been foreclosed on. unfortunately predatory lending targeted vulnerable

Barbara Lee

0:38:46 to 0:39:08( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Lee: populations. predatory lenders went after communities of color, went after individuals who they knew were vulnerable and were targets and to me that should be looked at very he seriously and hopefully one of these days some will be prosecuted for that. when we tried to encourage the banks to partipate in voluntary foreclosure prevention programs to help families in distress, they

Barbara Lee

0:39:09 to 0:39:30( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Lee: balked and made every excuse to avoid participating. and now millions more families are threatened with bankruptcy and foreclosure. a.i.g., this is unbelievable, a.i.g. can provide, what was this? $165 million in bonuses, taxpayer dollars. again, this is criminal. it's wrong, it's immoral.

Barbara Lee

0:39:31 to 0:39:51( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Lee: for much of the time that i sat on the financial services committee and its subcommittee on housing and community opportunity, i can tell you that much of the work was focused on affordable housing. in fact, i can remember sitting in a subcommittee hearing talking to then congressman, now senator bernie sanders from vermont, sketching out the outlines of legislation, creating the federal affordable

Barbara Lee

0:39:52 to 0:40:12( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Lee: housing trust fund. although i'm glad we were able to finally get this trust fund legislation through the congress, we are all acutely aware of the funding programs that we are seeing now as a result of the foreclosure and economic crisis that we're facing today. so there is much, much work to be done. that's why many of us are pushing for a moratorium, and i think we need a moratorium on

Barbara Lee

0:40:13 to 0:40:33( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Lee: foreclosures. we've been pushing for this from the start of this crisis. that's why we work to push it, every point, to include significant and meaningful foreclosure release and keep people in including bankruptcy reform. but it hasn't been easy. especially given the bush administration's disastrous economic policies that i

Barbara Lee

0:40:34 to 0:40:55( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Lee: mentioned earlier but these policies reigned dederegulating the financial industry to the war in iraq. yes, this war in iraq, $10 billion a month has been part of this huge problem. these tax cuts to the rich, which created this financial -- this is really an unbelievable moment, that this administration has stepped up

Barbara Lee

0:40:56 to 0:41:18( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Lee: to the plate on to move forward to help turn this economy around. despite the resistant bush administration, at least we were able to include important neighborhood stabilization funding, over $8.25 million for my own city last year, in the housing and economic recovery act. again, thanks to the consistent and effective work of congresswoman maxine waters.

Barbara Lee

0:41:19 to 0:41:39( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Lee: today finally a new day has dawned and we have hope because a majority in congress and president obama understand that we can and that we must use every available tool to address this crisis head on. the congressional black caucus fought hard, fought hard, led by congresswoman maxine waters, to ensure th

Barbara Lee

0:41:40 to 0:42:00( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Lee: billion in neighborhood stabilization funding in the amercan recovery and investment act was included. not enough, but it's a start. and i'm pleased that secretary geithner and the president have announced a $75 billion plan to keep families in their homes and to keep home ownership affordable. but even with all of our efforts, we all know the enormity and the gravity of the

Barbara Lee

0:42:01 to 0:42:21( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Lee: situation and this requires much more. we have the obligation to make the dream of home ownership accessible to all americans and to help them achieve those dreams by limiting these unscrupulous lenders and i mean they are unscrupulous. these unscrupulous brokers, and they are unscrupulous. and these real estate agents

Barbara Lee

0:42:22 to 0:42:42( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Lee: who really seek to profit at the expense of the people that they report to serve. we're not casting a net on all of these individuals and institutions, but i think the data shows us that there's been a lot of bad faith, there's been a lot of activity in the financial services and in the

Barbara Lee

0:42:43 to 0:43:03( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Lee: real estate industry that really cost -- caused to us question a lot of the practices of some of these individuals. i think there must be account -- i think there must be more accountability. finally let me say i have to congratulate our speaker for helping to take strong steps. chairman frank, congresswoman

Barbara Lee

0:43:04 to 0:43:25( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Lee: maxine waters. these individuals worked day and night to help us figure out ways to help families in distress and our bills to improve f.h.a., to provide grants, to provide home buyers with the incentives to strengthen the oversight of this mortgage industry, which this movement and some of the

Barbara Lee

0:43:26 to 0:43:46( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Lee: initiatives i think will help begin to mitigate some of the damage of this housing crisis. but without the safety net of the courts, the average homeowner will still too often be left to the rise and fall of the markets and the whims of the mortgage mark tears and so bankruptcy reform must be

Barbara Lee

0:43:47 to 0:44:05( Edit History Discussion )

Barbara Lee: enacted. so thank you again, congresswoman fudge, for organizing this special order. thank you for allowing to us raise the alarm once again and to sound the alarm, so that the country understands that we're on the case day and night and this is quite a moment and it's quite a mess that we're faced

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