Congressman sold land for new homes while voting on homeownership legislation
BILLINGS, Mont. – Congressman Dennis Rehberg’s 180 degree flip on government housing policies is attracting attention in Montana as the homebuilder and realtor attacks the policies he’s to blame for.
Noting Rehberg’s rhetoric regarding the collapse of the U.S. housing market the Associated Press points out: “…the six-term Republican himself once backed legislation to help people get loans even if they didn’t have enough money for a down payment.” [Associated Press, 7/4/12]
During his 12 years in Washington D.C., Rehberg supported the establishment of government rules encouraging zero downpayment and zero interest homeownership. He now attacks the policies he supported as reckless and irresponsible.
Rehberg cosponsored both the American Dream Downpayment Act (2002) and the Zero Downpayment Act of 2004. [HR 4446, Cosponsors, Titles, 107th Congress, Rehberg Cosponsored 5/16/2002 - HR 3755, 108th Congress, Rehberg Cosponsored 5/17/2004; CQ Bill Summary]
While supporting legislation intended to increase rates of homeownership, Rehberg worked to turn his land into a Billings subdivision, where he offered lots for new home construction while simultaneously voting on these bills.
“Just as Congressman Rehberg began turning his ranch into a subdivision, he voted to allow families to buy homes with no money down,” said Montanans for Tester spokesman Aaron Murphy. “Congressman Rehberg was the government problem that led to the housing crisis. It’s the kind of irresponsible decision that hurts Montana and our nation, and it’s another example of Congressman Rehberg failing to hold himself accountable.”