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Congressman Capuano's
E-UPDATE
An update from the office of U.S. Representative Michael E. Capuano
7th Congressional District of Massachusetts


11,964 subscribers

April 17, 2015

Manufactured Housing

On Tuesday the House considered H.R. 650, Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act of 2015. This legislation weakens a provision of the Dodd Frank Act relating to owners of manufactured homes that gave them some of the same protections as traditional home owners, particularly in terms of mortgage interest rates. A manufactured home is a prefabricated dwelling assembled in a factory, such as a mobile home, and in general costs considerably less than a traditional home. H.R. 650 changes the definition of a high cost mortgage by raising the interest rates allowed for loans. For example, loans between $50,000 and $75,000 will have interest rates rise from 8.5% to 10%. The average manufactured home owner has just half the median income of traditional homeowners. The Administration has stated that H.R. 650 will be vetoed. I voted NO. H.R. 650 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

241

1

0

1

DEMOCRAT

22

161

0

5

TOTAL

263

162

0

6

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

1

8

0

0

Mortgages

On Tuesday the House also considered H.R. 685, the Mortgage Choice Act of 2015. This legislation also seeks to undermine a provision of the Dodd Frank Act defining a “qualified mortgage”. Under current law, creditors must perform due diligence in determining whether or not a borrower can repay the loan they are seeking. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has determined that “points and fees” are among the factors that must be considered in assessing a “qualified mortgage”, which cannot be more than 3% of the total mortgage. Title insurance falls under the definition of a fee. Under H.R. 685, title insurance companies affiliated with realtors and lenders would be exempt from the 3% cap. The Dodd Frank Act sought to end the practice of title insurance companies being referred business from real estate entities they are affiliated with because that was found to significantly raise borrowing costs. H.R. 685 weakens that effort. I voted NO. H.R. 685 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

241

1

0

1

DEMOCRAT

45

139

0

4

TOTAL

286

140

0

5

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

1

8

0

0

Tax Deductions

Yesterday the House considered H.R. 622, the State and Local Sales Tax Deduction Fairness Act. This legislation makes permanent a provision allowing the deduction for state and local sales taxes instead of state and local income taxes without offsetting its cost. Along with H.R. 1105 (detailed below), this legislation will add more than $300 billion to the deficit. I voted NO. H.R. 622 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

238

1

0

4

DEMOCRAT

34

151

0

3

TOTAL

272

152

0

7

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

Estate Taxes

The House also considered H.R. 1105, the Estate Tax Repeal. This legislation repeals the estate tax permanently without offsetting its cost. Under current law, most estates are already exempt from this tax. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, 99.8% of all estates are not subject to the tax. In addition to eliminating the estate tax, H.R. 1105 would provide an average tax cut of over $22 million to each estate valued at over $50 million. I voted NO. H.R. 1105 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

233

3

0

7

DEMOCRAT

7

176

0

5

TOTAL

240

179

0

12

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

What’s Up Next

Next votes are scheduled for Tuesday April 21st. The House is expected to consider H.R. 1195, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Advisory Boards Act and H.R. 1560, Protecting Cyber Networks Act.

Mike


Congressman Mike Capuano
7th District, Massachusetts
Committee on Ethics
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
Committee on Financial Services

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