The GOP’s Troubling Silence on Foreclosures

I was a guest on CNN’s “State of the Union” this past Sunday with Candy Crowley and one of the topics that came up was the problem of foreclosures. As a governor, I know there is no more powerful place than a family’s home and nothing more important for protecting that home than a job.

Yet even as we emerge from this Bush recession with 23 consecutive months of positive job growth, too many people in my state and across the country have lost or are in the process of losing their homes right now. It’s one of the troubling legacies of the financial crisis that President Obama inherited. Thanks in no small part to President Obama, foreclosures are at their lowest rate in 49 months. But we still have work to do.

That’s why I was glad to hear the President lay out a plan for helping homeowners in his State of the Union address last month. The President’s plan is simple: it would give responsible homeowners the chance to save about $3,000 a year on their mortgage by refinancing at historically low rates. The President’s plan also includes a Homeowner Bill of Rights to protect homeowners from exorbitant fees and inappropriate foreclosures.

One would think such a commonsense proposal would immediately attract bipartisan support. Yet House Majority Leader John Boehner scoffed at the idea and then suggested we should do nothing to stop rising foreclosures and falling home values. Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney has said his solution is to “let the market bottom out,” leaving homeowners out to dry.

This sit-on-our-hands-approach of Republicans is unacceptable and irresponsible. It puts politics and ideology above common sense. And—most importantly—it does nothing to help people stay in their homes.

I hope you will join me in calling on Republicans to wake up and support the President’s plan.

Jobs. Opportunity. Now.

 Gov. Martin O’Malley