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Tuesday
Mar292011

GOP House Terminates Dems' Foreclosure Prevention Program

Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The House of Representatives voted late Tuesday evening to end the Obama administration’s embattled foreclosure prevention program, arguing that it is wasting tens of billions of taxpayer dollars without a significant return or benefit to the struggling economy.

The Republican-controlled House voted 252-170 to scrap the Home Affordable Modification Program, known as HAMP. The vote was largely divided down party lines, with just 18 Democrats crossing the aisle to vote to terminate the program and just two Republicans voting to keep it going.

However, Tuesday’s vote in the House appears to be as far as the GOP’s push will go.

Earlier Tuesday President Obama threatened to veto the bill if it managed to pass both houses of Congress, but even that is unlikely since Senate Democrats have shown little appetite for picking up the Republicans’ effort to stop the program.

In a statement released before Tuesday’s vote, the White House said, “This program offers eligible homeowners an opportunity to lower their mortgage payments, helping individuals avoid foreclosure and leading to the protection of home values and the preservation of homeownership.”

“The Administration is committed to helping struggling American homeowners stay in their homes, and has taken many steps over the last two years to stabilize what was a rapidly-declining housing market. As tens of thousands of responsible American homeowners struggling with their mortgages receive permanent assistance each month from HAMP, the Administration believes that continuation of HAMP is important to the Nation’s sustained economic recovery.”

The program has been blasted by GOP lawmakers and non-partisan government watchdogs almost since its inception in the spring of 2009. The administration said the program would help three to four million struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure, but to date it has only helped around 540,000 borrowers receive permanent loan modifications to enable them to stay in their homes.

By comparison, over 800,000 homeowners have dropped out of the program.

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ABC News Radio