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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(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ) joined Congressman David Price (D-NC) and members of the Appropriations Committee, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and other members at a press conference to pressure the Administration to follow the law and release recovery funds to Puerto Rico. Two years ago, Puerto Rico suffered two back-to-back hurricanes that caused unprecedented damage. The U.S. Congress appropriated funds to aid Puerto Rico in its recovery over 660 days ago, partly through $10.2 billion in Community Development Block Grants for disaster recovery.
Last Week in Washington, I voted to raise the federal minimum wage, supported the introduction of legislation reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and met with the Mayor of Belleville. I met with stakeholders to discusses the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela and worked with my colleagues on the Foreign Affairs Committee to authorize critical programming at the State Department for fiscal year (FY) 2020.
Each year, the creation our federal government’s annual budget is a collaboration between the Executive Branch and Congress to set the course for our nation’s priorities. Initiating the process for fiscal year (FY) 2020, President Trump released his budget request on March 11, 2019 to Congress, reflecting a compilation of his administration’s experience running our federal agencies and including their priorities for the upcoming year.
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.