The foundation of the American Dream is to have a home to call your own. Unfortunately, the booming housing market in previous years allowed too many individuals to buy a home that they could not afford with loans that were not appropriate given their financial circumstances. Today, those individuals are facing foreclosure and the surrounding communities are seeing drastic drops in property values and taxes. In order to reestablish confidence in the housing market, it is important for me and my colleagues in Congress to support policies that provide assistance to at-risk homeowners and relief to negatively impacted communities.
An important way to assist homeowners is to ensure that they have access to transparent information regarding mortgages and credit. I voted in favor of legislation creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), an independent agency with a range of rulemaking, information-gathering, supervisory, and enforcement tools to regulate financial products such as mortgages and credit cards. I believe with adequate knowledge and protections, consumers can responsibly achieve the American dream of homeownership.
I will continue to focus on addressing foreclosures; an issue too many homeowners still face. Whether homeowners can no longer afford their monthly payments due to job loss or increasing adjustable rate mortgages, or they cannot sell their home because they owe more than it is worth, foreclosure rates may continue to rise for the near term. I will remain vigilant in finding solutions to avoid foreclosure and that continue to push for reforms to ensure that the American dream of owning a home remains attainable.
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Last week in Washington, my Democratic colleagues and I supported the introduction of two bills that are priorities for our majority in the House of Representatives. I voted in support of the public release of the Mueller report and attended hearings on the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2020 budget proposal. Additionally, I met with North Hudson Firefighters, the Executive Director of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, and the Ambassador from the Dominican Republic.
This week in Washington, I voted again with my House colleagues to end the government shutdown. Additionally, I took steps to ensure that members of the Coast Guard, federal employees, and contractors who work with the federal government receive retroactive pay once this disruption has ended. Additionally, I met with international officials to advance discussions on U.S. foreign policy.
This week in Washington, the House of Representatives passed a relief package for the victims of Hurricane Harvey, I cosponsored the DREAM Act of 2017, met with President Trump and other Congressional members about the Gateway Project, and welcomed Mayor Corral of Santa Fe City in Argentina.
Did you know that victims of Superstorm Sandy who need more cash to rebuild their home or business can now apply for a low-interest disaster loan? Due to a recently passed law, which was passed unanimously by Congress, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has reopened the application period for Superstorm Sandy victims seeking financial assistance. Homeowners can receive loans of up to $200,000 to repair or rebuild their homes, and as much as $40,000 more to replace damaged or lost items.
I advocated for the people of the 8th District this week by attending Foreign Affairs Committee hearings, meeting with several groups from the Garden State, and voting on critical pieces of legislation.
(Washington, D.C.) -“ This week, Congressman Sires voted in favor of several pieces of legislation critical to assisting New Jersey veterans, homeowners, and those affected by Superstorm Sandy.
This week in Washington, I had an interview with students from my alma mater, received input from several constituent groups, and voted on transportation funding.