Financial Services Committee Approves Measures on Housing, Municipal Bonds, Green Resources and Credit Cards

August 1, 2008

For Immediate Release: July 31, 2008

Financial Services Committee Approves Measures on Housing, Municipal Bonds, Green Resources and Credit Cards

Washington, DC - The House Financial Services Committee approved the following legislation during its two day mark up of H.R. 6308, H.R 5772, H.R. 6078, H.R. 840, and H.R. 5244:

H.R. 6308, Municipal Bond Fairness Act
The Municipal Bond Fairness Act will eliminate the ability of the rating agencies to use separate standards for municipal bonds and other bonds. The practice of using a separate scale that the industry has employed for many years has in many cases caused high quality general obligation bonds to be rated lower than comparable corporate bonds. This legislation would eliminate that unfair situation by requiring those credit rating agencies that choose to seek designation as a nationally recognized statistical rating organization (NRSRO) to use rating symbols consistently for every security to which they are assigned.

H.R. 5772, Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act of 2008
The bill, introduced by Rep. Christopher Murphy (D-CT) and co-sponsored by Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL), will modernize the Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities program, as well as create a Project-Rental Assistance Demonstration program to expand the supply of permanent supportive housing for low-income persons with disabilities. H.R. 5772 amends section 811 of the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act, which established the Housing for Persons with Disabilities program. The 811 program is nearly identical to the Section 202 Program, which previously provided supportive rental housing for persons with disabilities.

The Section 811 program is the only Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) permanent supportive housing program exclusively serving persons with disabilities.

H.R. 6078, Green Resources for Energy Efficient Neighborhoods Act of 2008

Introduced by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), the legislation encourages energy efficiency and conservation and development of renewable energy sources for housing, commercial structures, and other buildings, and helps to create sustainable communities.

H.R. 840, Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act
Programs administered by HUD under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act have not been reauthorized since FY 1994. H.R. 840, introduced by Rep. Carson (D-IN) and Rep. Davis (R-KY) would reauthorize the housing programs of McKinney-Vento. The legislation will require the establishment of a community homeless assistance planning board for a geographic area to lead a collaborative planning process to design, execute, and evaluate programs, policies, and practices to prevent and end homelessness.

H.R. 5244, Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights Act of 2008
The Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights will help level the playing field between credit card companies and cardholders. It allows for cardholders say "no" to interest rate increases and prohibits card companies from luring people into paying high rates and fees. The bill will give cardholders the tools they need to responsibly manage their credit and prevents them from undermining a competitive market.

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