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RISMEDIA, Oct. 5, 2007-Speaker Nancy Pelosi was joined by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other House and Senate Democratic leaders at a news conference this morning in the Capitol to offer a plan to stem the rising tide of home foreclosures created by the subprime mortgage market crisis. Below are Pelosi’s opening remarks:

“Thank you, Leader Reid. Today, our country faces a challenge that threatens the economic security of our economy and the dream of home ownership for many of America’s working families – the subprime lending crisis.

“The number of foreclosures reported in August was more than double than the same time one year ago. This past August alone, 240,000 American families faced the heartbreak of losing their home.

“At the same time, our broader housing market is in its worst slump in 16 years. This means fewer jobs and the decline in the value of a family’s biggest asset, their home. Foreclosures are not in the best interest of lenders, certainly not in the best interest of the home owner, and not in the interest of their community.

“What does more to stabilize a community than home ownership? Putting down roots and investing in the community around them does just that. The strength of America in terms of the strength of our communities and our families is ill-served by ignoring the subprime crisis – we are not doing that.

“There’s an opportunity for the lending institutions to do much more to help. More than 40% of consumers with subprime mortgages are eligible for lower fixed rates. Yet, according to a recent survey of 16 subprime lenders, only 1% of consumers experiencing higher interest rates had their mortgages renegotiated.

“The subprime crisis demands action, and we are working to protect families who have lost their homes or are in danger of foreclosure, and to institute reforms to prevent other subprime problems.

“I am very proud of the leadership of Barney Frank, Chair of our Financial Services Committee, Chairwoman Maxine Waters of the Housing and Community Opportunity Subcommittee, and the Vice Chair of the Joint Economic Committee, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.

“With that, I’m pleased to yield to the distinguished Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, a person who has been a champion for America’s working families for his entire career, Chairman Chris Dodd.”

Source: Office of the Speaker of the House