Rep. Hanna Floor Statement
*March 29, 2011 – Hanna Amendment to H.R. 839*
CHAIRMAN: For what purpose does the gentleman from New
York seek recognition?
MR. Hanna: [Mister Chairman/Madame Chairwoman], I have
an amendment at the desk made in order under the rule and
numbered 1 of part A of House Report 112-34.
CHAIRMAN: The Clerk will designate the amendment.
CLERK: [Designates amendment.]
CHAIRMAN: The gentleman from New York is recognized for 5
minutes in support of his amendment.
MR. Hanna: [Gives his statement on the amendment.]
My amendment would add a findings section detailing the flaws
of the Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP. It
would also state that terminating HAMP would result in
significant savings for American taxpayers.
I filed this amendment during “Sunshine Week,” which
highlights the importance of open government. In keeping
with the spirit of transparency, the Hanna amendment would
include within the bill the specific reasons why we should end
the failed HAMP program.
The HAMP program was designed to assist between 3 and 4
million homeowners. However, as of February, only roughly
607,000 active permanent mortgage modifications were made
under HAMP. While $30 billion dollars was obligated by the
Treasury to HAMP, only $1.04 billion dollars has been
Furthermore, the Special Inspector General for TARP reported
that HAMP offers many homeowners “little more than false
hope and in certain cases causes more harm than good.” The
program does not fulfill its intended purpose of helping
American homeowners. It DELAYS rather than prevents
This program was flawed from the beginning. According to
the Wall Street Journal, the number of applications cancelled
far exceeds those that were approved, and the number of
applications continues to slow. I agree with the Journal’s
assessment, which pointed out that keeping people in homes
they cannot afford is bad policy. Incentivizing mortgage
servicers to do just that only exacerbates the housing crisis.
Moreover, the private sector is better equipped to deal with
the problem, and they have modified nearly double the number
of loans themselves-without government involvement.
My amendment concludes that ending this ineffective program
would save taxpayers $1.4 billion dollars, according to
Congressional Budget Office. This is one step toward restoring
fiscal discipline to our federal government.
Too often, our constituents receive biased or incomplete
information on the issues we are discussing in Congress, making
it difficult for them to make informed assessments of our work.
Including additional facts on the intended consequences of
legislation is beneficial for the public.
That’s why I urge support for the Hanna amendment and the
I yield back the balance of my time.*