RECENT VOTES

H.R. 5140: Recovery Rebates and Economic Stimulus for the American People Act of 2008

January 29, 2008

On Tuesday the House considered H.R. 5140: Recovery Rebates and Economic Stimulus for the American People Act of 2008. This economic stimulus package includes a number of initiatives to help spur the economy and bring a measure of relief to Americans. For most working Americans, the bill provides up to $600 per individual and $1200 per married couple plus an additional $300 per child in the form of rebate checks. The rebates are gradually phased out for individuals with income exceeding $75,000 and couples with an income over $150,000. H.R. 5140 also helps small businesses by doubling the amount that owners can write off their 2008 taxes for any capital investments made this year.

The economic stimulus package also includes a provision to increase the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan limits to make affordable mortgages available to more home buyers. FHA was established to provide affordable mortgage loans to first-time home buyers and existing homeowners in need of refinancing. Currently, FHA loans are not available in many higher-cost areas of the country because the average cost of a home is too high. As a result, some borrowers are forced to turn to the more expensive sub-prime market. A key provision in H.R. 5140 increases the FHA loan limit from the current $367,000 to $729,750, which helps to make mortgages more affordable in regions where the cost of housing is high. A provision that I have been working on for several years, to further increase the FHA loan limit for two, three and four family homes, was included in the stimulus package.

Since Massachusetts has a great deal of multi-family housing stock, this change in loan limits means that more first-time home buyers and existing homeowners who need to refinance will have greater access to an affordable multi-family home mortgage. H.R. 5140 passed unanimously in the House and now moves to the Senate for consideration. I voted yes and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
DEMOCRAT

216

10

1

5

REPUBLICAN

169

25

0

5

TOTAL

385

35

1

10

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

10

0

0

0

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Contact: Alison M. Mills (617) 621-6208