From Reader Supported News: http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/320-80/5453-house-votes-to-kill-main-obama-foreclosure-aid
By Corbett B. Daly, Reuters
30 March 11
Republicans in the US House of Representatives on Tuesday voted to kill President Barack Obama’s signature program to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure.
A bill to terminate the program was approved on a 252-170 vote. But the bill is unlikely to clear the Senate.
It was the last in series of four measures brought forward by newly empowered House Republicans to end government assistance for homeowners hurt by the housing crisis.
Republicans argued the foreclosure prevention plan, known as the Home Affordable Modification Program, is ineffective and not worthy of taxpayer support amid soaring budget deficits. The vote broke largely along party lines.
The program, which offers incentives for lenders to modify loans, was launched to great fanfare in the spring of 2009. The Obama administration had hoped it would permanently lower mortgage payments for 3 million to 4 million homeowners.
But fewer than 600,000 borrowers have received permanent loan modifications, and the program has been widely criticized as ineffective from critics on both the left and the right.
“The HAMP program is a failure,” said Representative Patrick McHenry, the North Carolina Republican who sponsored the bill. “If we can’t eliminate this failed program, what program can we eliminate?”
Analysts see the votes as an effort by Republicans, who last seized control of the House in an election in November with an anti-bailout, anti-spending message, to score points with their political base.