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James M.
Democrat MA 2

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  •     Providing for Consideration of H.R. 650, Preserving Access To
    Manufactured Housing Act of 2015, Providing for Consideration of H.R.

    by Representative James P. McGovern

    Posted on 2015-04-14

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    McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the distinguished chairman of the Rules Committee, Mr. Sessions, for the customary 30 minutes, and I yield myself such time as I may consume.

    (Mr. McGOVERN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.) Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, 2 weeks ago, before we left for our district work period, this House worked in a responsible and bipartisan way to permanently fix the sustainable growth rate formula.

    Unfortunately, we return to the floor this week with legislation intended to further undermine the Dodd-Frank financial reform law and give huge tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans by repealing the estate tax without even finding an offset, thereby increasing our deficit.

    What we should be doing today, Mr. Speaker, is considering legislation to strengthen financial protection for consumers, create jobs, and ensure the continuation of our economic recovery; or, in honor of Equal Pay Day, we should debate and vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act to ensure that women get paid for equal work.

    A full-time working woman still earns significantly less than what a man earns for comparable work. It turns out that women earn nearly 25 cents less than a man for doing the same work. Achieving equal pay for women should be the top of our priority list, but, unfortunately, this Republican majority has denied us a vote on this critical issue.

    Today, instead, we will consider two pieces of legislation under a closed process to roll back important Dodd-Frank consumer protections.

    H.R. 650, the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, strips from manufactured homeowners critical protections enacted by Congress as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

    Manufactured homes are an important affordable housing option for many low- and moderate-income families, especially families living in rural areas. It is critical that these homeowners are able to have access to the same consumer protections afforded to consumers with traditional mortgages.

    H.R. 685, the Mortgage Choice Act, would allow mortgages with higher fees to improperly qualify for the qualified mortgage standards established by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. By removing affiliated title insurance fees from the 3 percent cap established by the CFPB, creditors could be incentivized to direct borrowers to expensive affiliates.

    Passage of this legislation could ultimately drive up the cost of mortgages, limit competition in the marketplace, and undo borrower protections.

    {time} 1245 A coalition of civil rights organizations, including the Center for Responsible Lending, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the NAACP, and I could go on and on and on, has urged the House to reject these bills, as they ``could trigger the return of predatory lending, irresponsible underwriting, excessive fees, and the lax [[Page H2167]] regulatory environment that sparked the housing crisis.'' Now, Mr. Speaker, I know that my friends in the majority don't like the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. They have made countless attempts to overturn the commonsense provisions contained in the law that protect consumers and work to prevent another financial crisis.

    But I don't think anybody in this House should want to set the stage for another financial crisis, and I have serious concerns about the process being used by the majority to repeal Dodd-Frank.

    My friend, the ranking member on the Financial Services Committee, Maxine Waters, has worked in good faith with the majority on legislation to make technical corrections to Dodd-Frank and other bipartisan updates. In fact, just yesterday, this House passed several pieces of legislation from the Financial Services Committee with overwhelming support from both sides of the aisle.

    But the two bills that we are considering today fall far short of that goal. Mr. Speaker, after the passage of a clean Homeland Security bill and the SGR fix, I had hoped that bipartisan cooperation in legislating would be contagious. I was wrong.

    Today, the Republicans are back to their old ways of bringing up ``my way or the highway bills'' that will be brought to the floor under a closed rule and then vetoed by the President.

    I urge my colleagues to defeat this rule and the underlying legislation.

    Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

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