Letter | Merkley Urges Obama to Include Mortgage Help, Energy Efficiency Programs in Jobs Agenda

Merkley Urges Obama to Include Mortgage Help, Energy Efficiency Programs in Jobs Agenda

Portland, OR – Next week, President Barack Obama plans to lay out an agenda to jumpstart the American economy and create jobs.  Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley is urging him to use that opportunity to take aggressive action to keep families in their homes and to finance energy efficiency renovations to reduce energy use and get Americans back to work.

In a letter to Obama, Merkley applauded the President for focusing on job creation and offered his suggestions for how to help get the economy back on track.

Merkley wrote, “An unemployment rate above 9% is simply unacceptable and our slow rate of job creation means that it may be five years or more before we reach the pre-recession unemployment levels.  We cannot allow that to happen; we must take concrete steps to create jobs now.”

Merkley noted the dangers that continue to arise from a coming wave of foreclosures.  With millions of homeowners at risk, the housing market is a continuing drag on the economy, stunting job growth and creating uncertainty in communities across the country.  Merkley is pushing the Administration to implement programs that would help make mortgages more affordable and, thus, help prevent foreclosures.

Merkley is further urging the Administration to endorse programs that will help families and businesses make energy efficiency upgrades to buildings.  Low interest loans can encourage improvements now, creating much-needed construction jobs and saving money over the long term in reduced energy use.

“Deficit reduction has dominated discussion in Washington, DC, over the past several months.  While I agree we need to lower our deficit, the single best way we can manage our debt is to get Americans back to work.  An aggressive push to create jobs is both sound policy and the right thing to do.  I hope to have an opportunity to work with you and your team to pursue these and other job creation initiatives.”

Merkley has been advocating for months for a stronger government response to the unemployment crisis, most recently leading 23 Senators in sending a letter to the Senate Republican leader urging that the new “super committee” make near-term job creation strategies a centerpiece of its efforts to reduce the nation’s long-term deficits.

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Dear Mr. President:

Our top challenge as a nation, as you know, right now is getting Americans back to work.  An unemployment rate above 9% is simply unacceptable and our slow rate of job creation means that it may be five years or more before we reach the pre-recession unemployment levels.  We cannot allow that to happen; we must take concrete steps to create jobs now.  I was therefore pleased by recent reports that you will lay out a job creation agenda in early September.  I urge you to include two specific steps that can help turn around our economy and put Americans back to work.

First, we must aggressively address the tsunami of foreclosures affecting millions of American families.  One element of this is to continue to work at improving the Administration’s mortgage modification program, the Housing Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).

In addition, we can and should adopt an aggressive strategy to substantially reduce foreclosures nationally.  There are as many as five million foreclosures anticipated to come – this is a huge tragedy for individual families but it is also a drag on our communities and our economy as a whole.  Our economy cannot get out of the ditch with so much uncertainty hovering over so many homeowners.

A short-refinance program would curtail the number of foreclosures while providing millions of families with greater disposable income.  Another option is to refinance a portion of the current mortgage that corresponds to the value of the house while putting the balance in a silent second mortgage.  Yet another approach is a post-foreclosure rental strategy that keeps families in their homes while providing a repurchase option that could restore the family to homeownership in the future.

In short, there are many viable strategies for assisting families and reducing the inventories of foreclosures dragging down our economy.  What has been missing is an aggressive plan to utilize such approaches.  I applaud your recent statements that you intend to “go back to the drawing board” on housing policy and I stand ready, as do many in Congress, to work with you.

A second area I would encourage your team to pursue to create jobs is to institute a national program to enable homeowners and commercial property owners to invest in energy efficiency renovations for their homes and businesses.  There are millions of homes and buildings that would generate substantial savings in energy costs for their owners if they received energy efficient upgrades, such as insulation, new windows, new boilers, and the like.  Loans to cover these renovations could be paid back through savings on energy bills, ensuring manageable monthly payments and sparing owners the daunting up-front costs.   In the last Congress, legislation was offered to create three key programs – Building Star, Rural Energy Star, and Home Star.  Such programs would create desperately-needed construction jobs in communities across America.  In the past you have advocated for low cost loans for efficiency improvements as methods to both reduce energy usage and create jobs now.  I urge you to reiterate that call and work with me and others in Congress to pass legislation to create low-interest loans for energy efficiency renovations.

Deficit reduction has dominated discussion in Washington, DC, over the past several months.  While I agree we need to lower our deficit, the single best way we can manage our debt is to get Americans back to work.  An aggressive push to create jobs is both sound policy and the right thing to do.  I hope to have an opportunity to work with you and your team to pursue these and other job creation initiatives.

SOURCE: http://merkley.senate.gov/

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Comments
11 Responses to “Letter | Merkley Urges Obama to Include Mortgage Help, Energy Efficiency Programs in Jobs Agenda”
  1. Debbie says:

    Wow…wonder if many of you are calling for Bush, Cheney and the Republicans to be prosecuted for their crimes against the American people. No, I am not a banker. I am a homeowner just like you who is facing fraud and the likes for the banks. Has Obama implemented a program that has been effective? No, however, the Republican controlled House is pro business and does not care about the homeowners. Where are the calls to oust them?

  2. Fury says:

    HAMP does not work.
    putting more money into it will not help.

    give the money directly to the people!

  3. lvent says:

    There is only one fix and it is for We The People to take our country back from these criminals…..Tell Obama we will accept NO stinking loan mods or Principle Write Downs. Word on the street is the latest thing Obama is up to is forcing the banksters to write down the principle to half…….. Loan mod or principle reduction to half, either one would make us a nation of renters at our ages.THEY ARE LOOKING TO KEEP THE MORTGAGE FRAUD PONZI SCHEME ROLLING AND COLLECT A TON MORE INTEREST OFF OF HOMES WE WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO PAY OFF IN OUR LIFETIMES……IT IS ANOTHER CON AND ANOTHER SCAM BY THE RULING ELITE. AND THE THEIR COHORTS AND MINIONS, OUR ENEMIES…….EITHER ONE IS AN ATTEMPT TO COVER UP ALL OF THE MORTGAGE FRAUD AND THIS IS JUST MORE OF THE SAME, MORE FRAUD….OBAMA IS ASKING THE BANKSTERS TO FRAUDULENTLY INDUCE ANOTHER MORTGAGE AND CREATE ANOTHER MORTGAGE OUT OF THIN AIR….THE PRESIDENT IS PROMOTING MORE MORTGAGE FRAUD????….DESPICABLE…..WE THE PEOPLE DEMAND WALL STREET PAY BACK MAINSTREET ALL OF ITS ILL GOTTEN GAINS AND RESCIND THE FRAUDULENTLY INDUCED LOANS…CLEAR TITLE BACK TO THE HOMEOWNERS………THESE CRIMINALS CREATED 40 TRILLION IN COLLATERAL FRAUD BACKED BY ZERO…DESPICABLE…….!!!!!!! WE THE PEOPLE DEMAND THE U.S. GOVERNMENT ABOLISHES THE FEDERAL RESERVE AND THE U.S. CONGRESS COINS OUR CURRENCY BACKED BY GOLD OR SILVER….U.S. NOTES……THE FAKE DEBT INDUCEMENT WILL BE PAID OFF IN SHORT ORDER FROM ALL OF THE INTEREST THE U.S. GOVERNMENT WOULD COLLECT ON UNITED STATES NOTES………. THAT WOULD BRING AN END TO THIS TYRANNY……!!!!!.

    • Javagold says:

      im awake but i must honestly say if they cut my principle in half (that being EVERYONES), i may take it instead of fighting them in a fight that is too hard or fixed for us to win

  4. Javagold says:

    Obama results when talking about housing and unemployment is ZERO…..he needs to be IMPEACHED

    • Bloodsoaked says:

      I agree. Obama is a TREASONIST PIG and and should be impeached. His main reason he was propted up to presidentcy was to let the crooks off the hook. I wonder how much money he has recieved and investments that he is profiting on the scams that he has closed an eye to for his own benefit. He needs to be inpeached and investigated for his treason against AMERICA along with the BUSH’S, Clinton’s and all other crooked polaticians. Then they cannot milk the American People with there pentions and retirment plans Till they die. These polatician do not deserve our protection and support from the secret service. No more money spent to protect theses pieces of shits they all need exicution. This is extreme I know but the only way to deal with this sort of terroring Treasonist is DEATH. It is in our constitution. That is the punishment for TREASON. They have inflicted so much pain around the world. We MUST CUT THE HEAD FROM THE SNAKE!

      • lvent says:

        Bloodsoaked, I was reading on a website that there is a list of the politicians who have become wealthier than ever since the Intentional stock market crash in 08 and the manufactured financial crisis as well as the debt downgrade…..I am going to find the list and post the names…. Obama’s name is supposed to be on that list…….There are many traitors and treasonists in our midst, hiding in plain sight….They never thought they would get caught……They are all despicable!!.

  5. abs says:

    Oust Obama, treason, false claim act

  6. Charles says:

    Maybe the Senator is out of loop. LOAN MODS DON’T WORK! The only way this country is ever going to recover is to endorse the http://www.fairtax.org !! Unseat the politicians. Vote them out.

  7. housemanrob says:

    LlET’S IMPEACH OBAMA NOW!

  8. housemanrob says:

    wAYCH WHAT HAPPENS….OBAMA GIVES US ANOTHER FEW LINES OF CRAP…………..THEN HE WILL DO NOTHING! HE HAS SOLD US OUT PEOPLE…..PERIOD!

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