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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

The Housing Bill: Slow Down And Let The Public See It

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Barney Frank is pushing a huge housing bill through the Congress. President Bush has threatened to veto it.

Good. Nothing that has to be rushed through without publication and debate on the web for at least a week or two can be good news. Like the immigration reform bill of last year, the key is in the details. Mr. Frank should publish the latest version on the web and listen carefully to the comments. Perhaps Heritage can post an on-line edition like it did with the immigration bill. (The Heritage analysis of the Frank-Dodd plan is here.)

Look, Frank is pretty smart, but he’s not so smart that his handiwork couldn’t use some review and criticism from the many, out of which would come some keen insight. I want to see if they are using the idea that would allow homeowners to use their retirement funds –without triggering tax or an early withdrawal penalty– to pay down their mortgages so as to keep their greatest asset. I’d like mortgage bankers to be able to review and comment on the write-down provisions, and home-builders to be able to comment on the impact on new home starts.

In short, the Frank bill is proposing an overhaul of a crucial portion of the economy. A little transparency please.


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