WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Community Mortgage Lenders of America today released the following statement:
Over many years we have consistently worked to ensure that housing guarantee fees for all federal programs not be used to plug budget holes for non-housing programs. Families pay these funding fees as insurance premiums to ensure that these valuable housing programs do not cost taxpayer funds during economic downturns.
As we’ve noted previously, HR 3504 extends higher fees on veterans and active duty personnel that will hurt these families who have already sacrificed much. (Fees set to expire in 2022 are now made essentially permanent by HR 3504.) Now, upon closer inspection of the Congressional Budget Office report on the proposed legislation, the bill not only takes money from veterans’ pockets to fund other veterans’ programs, it takes $100M away from veterans for deficit reduction.
This is wholly irresponsible policy.
The proposed legislation is now pending Senate consideration. The CMLA calls on the Senate to remove any provisions making veterans responsible for (1) reducing the US debt, given that they have paid their societal dues overwhelmingly already; and (2) forcing veterans to pay for other veterans’ benefits.
Community lenders certainly think that veterans should receive all their benefits, including educational, housing, and medical, due them for their service—but not at the expense of other veterans.
But even more crucially, veterans and active-duty military personnel should never see their valuable, earned benefit tapped simply to reduce the US debt.
We urge Veteran Service Organizations to join us in our efforts to stop future fee increases. It’s worth noting that in 2016, the American Legion wrote the following:
The CMLA agrees wholeheartedly with the American Legion’s take in 2016. But we need this sentiment expressed in stronger terms today.
Here is the CBO cost estimate, showing veterans being assessed in part to reduce the US deficit.
The Community Mortgage Lenders of America is an industry advocacy group solely focused on the concerns of midsize and small community-based lenders.