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October 3 , 2008

Financial Rescue Package Will Stabilize Credit Markets, Protect New York Families and Small Businesses


Washington, DC – The U.S. House of Representatives today approved the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 by a vote of 263-171, providing much needed relief to the U.S. economy. In particular, the legislation includes a number of crucial provisions designed to keep New Yorkers in their homes and assist small business owners.

“We are in the midst of a credit crisis, and it is homeowners and entrepreneurs that are feeling the pain,” said Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez, Chair of the U.S. House Committee on Small Business and a senior member of the Financial Services Committee. “This legislation lays the framework for the long-term recovery of our housing and commercial lending markets.”

The final bill provides meaningful benefits for New York City families, including a Velázquez initiative to provide for continued tenant protections, such as rental subsidies. In addition, she ensured that commercial loans attached to apartment buildings can be purchased by the government if they are at risk of default. This will help to preserve thousands of rent-regulated, HUD-insured and subsidized housing units in the City.

“This is an important first step that will help keep New York families in their homes,” Congresswoman Velázquez said. “It is essential that we protect the rights of tenants and ensure our nation’s affordable housing remains secure during this financial crisis.”

In addition to addressing the needs of homeowners, entrepreneurs across the country will receive much needed assistance. By permitting lenders to move troubled assets off their balance sheets, more capital will be available for borrowers, including commercial and consumer loans used by entrepreneurs. This will enable small firms to meet payroll, finance their inventories and, as the economy recovers, expand their operations.

“More businesses are facing higher rates and less favorable terms, which has a serious effect on our economy,” Congresswoman Velázquez said. “Access to credit is critical, and today we have taken steps to reopen the spigot so that capital can flow more freely to small firms.”

Recent events reaffirm the need for this legislation. 159,000 U.S. jobs were lost in September, the worst month since 2003, and the economy is poised for a severe slowdown across a wide range of sectors. The legislation approved today is central to turning these trends around and jumpstarting new growth in the U.S. economy.

“The U.S. economy is facing challenges on a number of fronts, including slow growth, job losses and declining asset prices,” Congresswoman Velázquez said. “Reducing the logjam in our credit markets is absolutely critical to our nation’s economic recovery.”

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