By Steny Hoyer (D-5th), U.S. Representative for Southern Maryland and House Majority Leader
This week the House took action to address the housing crisis that has weakened the entire economy. The American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act helps homeowners in danger of foreclosure, stabilizes affected communities, and increases oversight and regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Republicans were divided on this measure that stabilizes our economy and keeps families in their homes, with 149 House Republicans voting against it in spite of support for the bill from President Bush.
House Republicans again chose to play politics with gas price legislation rather than support solutions to help Americans paying $4 per gallon at the pump. Republicans have blocked three bills over the past few weeks that could help bring down gas prices, including a bill this week that would have released a fraction of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in order to immediately increase supply. Such action has been taken several times over the past few decades, and it has caused a drop in prices each time. Despite Republicans' refusal to work with us to reduce gas prices, I hope they will put politics aside as we bring new energy legislation on speculation to the Floor next week.
Also this week, the House passed a Global AIDS bill that makes an unprecedented commitment to fight HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis across the world. Democrats also voted to suspend a provision sought by Republicans that would arbitrarily cut Medicare spending.
In addition to energy legislation, next week the House will take up an appropriations bill that invests in our military and our nation's veterans. We will also consider the Paycheck Fairness Act, which seeks to right the all-too-frequent wrong of women being paid less than men for the same job.