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On behalf of hundreds of thousands of FreedomWorks members nationwide, I urge you to VOTE “YES” on Senator Jim DeMint’s amendment (#4474) to the Senate Housing Bill. This amendment would strike language in the bill that is misguided and could lead to serious problems.
The Senate housing bill includes $4 billion for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) to buy and repair foreclosed properties. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) has proposed an amendment (#4474) to strike this provision.
The properties to be purchased with this money are foreclosed upon, but still owned by people with a willingness to sell. Adding $4 billion into what is already a buyers’ market so that the government can compete with private consumers is unnecessary in most cases, and potentially unfair and harmful in others.
There is nothing timely about this funding. While money must be distributed by HUD within 90 days, government beneficiaries need not actually spend the money until a year and a half after they obtain it. If this is an emergency, these funds would ostensibly be spent sooner.
This provision opens the door to eminent domain abuse. The provision could subsidize state and local government efforts to extend eminent domain activities, thereby taking away property rights. There must be protections in this bill for those citizens who own their home or are paying their mortgage on time. They should not be the victims of eminent domain abuse enabled by the $4 billion in block grants.
We will count your vote on amendment #4474 as a KEY VOTE when calculating the FreedomWorks Economic Scorecard for 2008. The FreedomWorks Economic Scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the Jefferson Award, which recognizes members of Congress with voting records that support economic freedom.