The House of Representatives yesterday passed a bill that would kill off President Obama’s top foreclosure prevention program, in a 252-170 vote that broke mainly along partisan lines. Republicans said the Home Affordable Modification Program, which gives banks incentives to modify mortgages, had proven ineffective, helping less than 600,000 borrowers—a far cry from the 3 million to 4 million the Obama administration had originally hoped for.
“The HAMP program is a failure,” one North Carolina rep told Reuters. “If we can't eliminate this failed program, what program can we eliminate?” But Democrats say the program needs to be fixed, not destroyed. “The absence of any program leaves people worse off,” Barney Frank reasoned. The bill is in any case unlikely to pass the Senate, so analysts see the vote as a mainly political one.