House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to "do anything they can" to stop home foreclosures following Monday's meeting with leading Democrats on how the $700 billion financial bailout bill is progressing.
"House Democratic leaders today made it clear to Secretary Paulson and Fed Chairman Bernanke that they must take immediate action and do everything they can to help hard-working Americans stay in their homes," Pelosi said in a statement released after the Capitol Hill meeting.
Pelosi's statement continued, "The solutions to the problem at the root of our economic crisis – aggressively addressing home foreclosures – have been known for some time. Further delay in implementing these solutions is unacceptable."
The meeting, attended by Pelosi and other key House members, was held as some Democrats called on the Bush administration to use money from the Wall Street rescue program to aid Detroit's Big Three automakers.
Pelosi called on Paulson to use authorities granted to him under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (EESA) to facilitate residential loan modifications and to encourage mortgage providers to engage in systematic loan modification initiatives.
Pelosi also urged Paulson to support FDIC Chair Sheila Bair's $24 billion foreclosure mitigation proposal, which would reduce preventable foreclosures for up to 2 million borrowers.
"Our country faces a serious and worsening foreclosure crisis that is affecting millions of Americans," Pelosi's statement continued. "Addressing the underlying problem of home foreclosures, and stopping the continued drop in home values, is essential to restoring confidence in our financial system, freeing up the flow of credit consumers and small businesses, and spurring renewed economic growth."