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Senate Proceeding on Apr 3rd, 2008 :: 3:55:01 to 4:09:59
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Richard Durbin

3:40:24 to 3:55:01( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Richard Durbin

Richard Durbin

3:54:47 to 3:55:01( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Durbin: such -- and i yield the floor. ms. landrieu: thank you, mr. president. en d i thankd my colleague from illinois for those comments and i really do appreciate his help. from the beginning of the catastrophe

Mary Landrieu

3:55:01 to 3:55:15( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: that we faced from hurricanes katrina an rita, -- and rita. the anniversaries of which we will not celebrate by any chance, but mark by the end of august of this year and, of course three weeks

Mary Landrieu

3:55:01 to 4:09:59( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Mary Landrieu

Mary Landrieu

3:55:15 to 3:55:32( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: later in september, we still are struggling, madam president,re as you know. and i thank the senator frill know for his constant help and support as we work through how to recover, how to rebuild

Mary Landrieu

3:55:32 to 3:55:48( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: with a federal agency, fema, that was caught flat-footed and poorly staffed and poorly resourced and disorganized. itia lly it's made some improvement, but we still have great challenges when it comes

Mary Landrieu

3:55:48 to 3:56:05( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: to the rebuilding of the gulf coast, and that's whyhy i'm here to take this opportunity while we're on a housing bill for the nation and there is some real urgency to get real help to real people who

Mary Landrieu

3:56:05 to 3:56:18( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: need the federal government to act to help stablize markets appropriately and as we are talkingki about this, i wanted to make -- to offer an amendment that i would like to speak on one amendment -- speak

Mary Landrieu

3:56:18 to 3:56:30( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: on, one amendment that i intend to offer to make sure that this bill in its attempt to help home owners that a struggling to get back -- homeowner that's are struggling to get back in their homes

Mary Landrieu

3:56:30 to 3:56:46( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: as we try to help neighborhoods to stablize from detroit to california to the east coast, as this bill attempts to do other things, that we do continue to give appropriate aid and support to the hundreds

Mary Landrieu

3:56:46 to 3:57:08( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: of o thousands of homeowners that are still struggling despite the good work that this congress has c done to give them help. a chart that illustrates this, hi if i could put up, is we have heard a

Mary Landrieu

3:57:08 to 3:57:26( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: lot about the city of detroit and the region which has outside of stockton, california, and las vegas, nevada, the highest percentage of foreclosures, almost 5% in this region, which is a significant

3:57:26 to 3:57:42( Edit History Discussion )

percentage. stockton, california, you can see almost 5%, las vegas 4.2%, and these other communities from sacramento, california to miami, florida, to the denver aurora area to the florida area fairly

3:57:42 to 3:58:01( Edit History Discussion )

significant percentages of homes that are foreclosed. and in some areas it's quite a few people. let's look at san bernardino, california. this is 51,000 homes. that's a lot of homes. i mean, 51,000 homes

3:58:01 to 3:58:13( Edit History Discussion )

is -- is a big place, lots of people, lots of children, you can imagine in your mind if you're from a community of 50,000 how big that could be. now they're all not in this situation clustered,

Mary Landrieu

3:58:13 to 3:58:25( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: 51,000 foreclosures all on the same block, and some of them are spread throughout a great area, but that's still a large number. and this is why we've come to the floor to try to bring help to

Mary Landrieu

3:58:25 to 3:58:37( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: these families. some of them, in my opinion, deserve help. maybe some of them don't. i hope this bill will sort the weed from the shaft because maybe some of these people entered into the kinds

Mary Landrieu

3:58:37 to 3:58:49( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: of loans that they shouldn't have, maybe they should have read the fine print and didn't. i'm not here to say that every single one deserves a handout, but i am saying that they deserve this senate

Mary Landrieu

3:58:49 to 3:59:00( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: to be talking about what help they might need to be received and the ramifications. and let me make this point: if the whole financial establishment could get together and have a debate about bear stearns

Mary Landrieu

3:59:00 to 3:59:14( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: and wall street and what it might mean -- what it would mean to the country of bear strns -- if bear stearns collapsed and they debated and came up with a solution, we most certainly need to be

Mary Landrieu

3:59:14 to 3:59:29( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: on this floor talking about what solutions might be appropriate for homeowners. because i understand the bear stearns thing was that they were all intertwined and if they failed, maybe all of

Mary Landrieu

3:59:29 to 3:59:46( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: the other banks would fail. let me say for the record that in places like detroit, if all of these homes fail, the city of detroit, it would put such a burden on that city or that area that everyone

Mary Landrieu

3:59:46 to 3:59:59( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: else may fail that had nothing to do with any of this, and that's the principle. it is the same principle that the fed bailed out bear stearns, we ought to be on the floor not saving people who

Mary Landrieu

3:59:59 to 4:00:17( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: did the wrong thing, but help people who did nothing wrong and may get pulled down by whatever people may want to characterize as our inaction or inappropriate regulation, whatever. but this is my point,

4:00:17 to 4:00:34( Edit History Discussion )

we're on the floor talking about these numbers because they look and they are high.~ let me show you what the gulf coast numbers look like, though, because it's really striking. let's take saint

4:00:34 to 4:00:54( Edit History Discussion )

bernard parish. and if you would hold the chart up next to it so we can get the comparison. remember, detroit has 41,000 homes, 4.9 of basically this detroit-levonia-deerborn area. let me show

4:00:54 to 4:01:09( Edit History Discussion )

you what the people of saint bernard are still reeling from. it's not a 5%, it's not a 10%, it's a 54% destruction rate. 54%. there's no county or parish in the country that is experiencing right now

4:01:09 to 4:01:33( Edit History Discussion )

the devastation and emptiness of homes closed, empty, vacated. now, we're recovering from a disaster, not necessarily the same thing as foreclosure. but i hold these up to show the the -- the nature

Mary Landrieu

4:01:33 to 4:01:53( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: and the scope of the problem. in cameron parish, it's not 4%, it's not 10%, it's 46%. in plaquiminesse paris, it's 78%. in new or leerngz it's 78,000 -- in new orleans, it's 78,000 households, 14%. and

Mary Landrieu

4:01:53 to 4:02:16( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: in hancock, mississippi, 27%. harrison, mississippi, 10%. jackson, mississippi, 4%. jefferson -- this is texas -- 2.6%. and saint -- i'm sorry, jefferson, our parish in louisiana, 2.6%. and saint taminay,

Mary Landrieu

4:02:16 to 4:02:33( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: 2.4%, and vermilion is 1%. and so my amendmenty is here to address. something that will help these families. aftethe storm when these homes were destroyed we passed a special community development block

Mary Landrieu

4:02:33 to 4:02:43( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: grant, extra grants to mississippi and louisiana and alabama and texas sort of like we did right after the twin towers felln new yk. there was some extra community development block grants sent.

Mary Landrieu

4:02:43 to 4:02:54( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: the congress did the same. not everything we did was perfect in that regard. there was still some descrep discrepancies in how it was allocated -- discrepancies in how it was allocated, but suffice

Mary Landrieu

4:02:54 to 4:03:08( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: it to say for that discussion that that money was sent. and out of that money, mississippi created the mississippi housing assistance program and louisiana created the louisiana road home. and these

Mary Landrieu

4:03:08 to 4:03:20( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: were grants that were given out to homeowners to try to help them, mr. president, between what their insurance would pay -- and many of these homeowners' homes were fully paid. these were the problems

Mary Landrieu

4:03:20 to 4:03:30( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: where the mortgages were completely paid off and some of these properties had insurance. some of these properties did not have insurance because they weren't in a flood plain and they weren't required to have

Mary Landrieu

4:03:30 to 4:03:42( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: insurance. so these are homeowners that didn't do anything wrong. the homeowners i'm talked about did just about everything right. some of them might have should have had insurance but didn't. but

Mary Landrieu

4:03:42 to 4:03:57( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: believe me, they have suffered the consequences of that. we're not bailing everybody out. but what we did do was allow them to take this road home grant and then in the tax law they can also take

Mary Landrieu

4:03:57 to 4:04:12( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: a mortgage -- i mean, a casualty deduction. this is the problem. if my amendment which i'm going to offer when i can and ask for a vote on -- and i offer this amendment not just for myself but

Mary Landrieu

4:04:12 to 4:04:27( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: for senator cochran, senator vitter, and senator whitaker, all of us are together in a bipartisan way asking the congress to give us some relief here. if this amendment that i'm going to offer is

Mary Landrieu

4:04:27 to 4:04:40( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: not adopted, these families -- i'm going to give you an example of the jones and the smith family -- will end up paying much more in taxes than, a, they can afford and it will be counterproductive

Mary Landrieu

4:04:40 to 4:04:52( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: to our roafer effort. let's take the jones family. they earn $75,000 a year. their home was substantially damaged. they did not take a casualty deduction, as the current law allows. they paid the full

Mary Landrieu

4:04:52 to 4:05:06( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: amount of the taxes. and then out of the community development block grant, let's say they're in mississippi, they received a grant from the state of mississippi of $75,000 from the mississippi assistance

Mary Landrieu

4:05:06 to 4:05:28( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: program. their road home grant will not be taxed. this family's fine. but this family, the smith family, which makes the same amount of money, their house was completely damaged, they did take the

Mary Landrieu

4:05:28 to 4:05:43( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: deduction. they got about a $7,000 benefit. but because of what we did, they got their $75,000 grant. if they have to pay tax on this, their tax could bex as high as $27,000 -- $24,000. now, mr.

Mary Landrieu

4:05:43 to 4:05:59( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: president, the people that i represent in louisiana -- and i'm sure this is the same for mississippi -- can barely pay their utility bills right now, their insurance bills. they most certainly cannot

Mary Landrieu

4:05:59 to 4:06:13( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: pay a $24,000 tax bill. and if my amendment is not adopted -- and it's got i think good support from finance on both sides -- this family that i told you about that makes only $75,000, that had their

Mary Landrieu

4:06:13 to 4:06:26( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: home destroyed through no fault of their own because of just a confluence of things that we've done will end up having to pay $24,000. so you ask me, "senator, how expensive is your amendment?" it's not

Mary Landrieu

4:06:26 to 4:06:39( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: cheap. the amendment -- the score on this amendment is $1 billion. it is not cheap. but we have got to provide this support for these gulf coast families or you will have thousands and thousands of

Mary Landrieu

4:06:39 to 4:06:52( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: families who arguably need the most help in the country. these are families that at one time owned homes like this. this happens to be a double. i'll show you another picture of who didn't do anything

Mary Landrieu

4:06:52 to 4:07:06( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: wrong. they didn't take out any subprime. they didn't try to take out a low adjustable mortgage. they took out their regular 30-year mortgage. they paid off their regular 30 mortgage. they paid insurance

Mary Landrieu

4:07:06 to 4:07:21( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: their whole life. they have to end up paying $24,000 in taxes, and it will be the straw that breaks the camel's back. so you've heard me speak before about this issue. i know it can be a little complicated.

Mary Landrieu

4:07:21 to 4:07:33( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: we're not trying to ask for double dipping, you know, or anything. but i'm going to be offering this amendment. and it's just important to remember if we don't do this, we have thousands of people, homeowners

Mary Landrieu

4:07:33 to 4:07:46( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: that are trying to stay in their homes, rebuild these neighborhoods that are virtually destroyed -- not on a beach, even though that is the case in some places in miss mississippi -- in the middle

Mary Landrieu

4:07:46 to 4:07:56( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: of the city, not close to any water or any beach, you know, five minutes from the superdome where the horn let's be playing one of their -- division championship division games in just a couple of

Mary Landrieu

4:07:56 to 4:08:11( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: days, five minutes from the superdome, they didn't even know the levees were going to break, the federal levees broke and put their home underwater. this is where the water line is. these families

Mary Landrieu

4:08:11 to 4:08:24( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: will have to pay $24,000 in taxes if we can't get this fixed. so the bottom shrine this, mr. president. i'm happy -- so the bottom line is this, mr. president. i'm happy to vote for this bill for

Mary Landrieu

4:08:24 to 4:08:40( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: michigan and california and places that are experiencing difficulties with their mortgages. but i'm asking the congress to please continue to know that we still have homeowners that are struggling after

Mary Landrieu

4:08:40 to 4:08:55( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: 2 1/2 years to get back into their homes with -- with some very complicated help that we and the states and the parishes are trying to give them. so my amendment will correct that. i will offer it

Mary Landrieu

4:08:55 to 4:09:06( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: whenever we -- i am -- when we move to that part. i will also have several other amendments that will help the recovery process move forward. they're all about housing, they're all about helping people

Mary Landrieu

4:09:06 to 4:09:21( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: get back in their houses. they're not necessarily, you know, on a different subject or anything becau se i realize that we'll have other discussions later. but while we're on housing and while we're

Mary Landrieu

4:09:21 to 4:09:30( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: trying to fix it for everybody in the country, let's please stay focused and give a few tweaks here and there to keep this recovery going in the right direction on the gulf coast because we've got,

Mary Landrieu

4:09:30 to 4:09:38( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: mr. president accident a long way to go -- because we've got, mr. president, a long way to go. and i see my colleague from kansas, and i'll yield the floor. mr. brownback: mr. president? the presiding

Mary Landrieu

4:09:38 to 4:09:48( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: officer: the senahetor from kansas. mr. brownback: thank you very much, mr. president. i than k my colleague from louisiana. appreciate the information she's put forward and i'll certainly be looking

Mary Landrieu

4:09:48 to 4:09:59( Edit History Discussion )

Mary Landrieu: at it and considering it. mr. president, i'm delighted that we're on there housing billl. chairman bernanke of the federal ed reserve is ine front of thent joint -- was in front of the joint economic

Sam Brownback

4:09:59 to 4:10:12( Edit History Discussion )

Sam Brownback: committee yesterday, did i thought a nice job testifying. there's a lot of interesting things -- too interesting -- going on of what he was talking about taking place.g but it was key that he was saying

Sam Brownback

4:09:59 to 4:20:31( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Sam Brownback

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