Labor Unions, Housing Advocates, and Enviros Want Obama to Replace DeMarco before Election Day
By Mel Fabrikant Thursday, August 09 2012 @ 04:08 PM EDT
Statements from Leo Gerard of the United Steelworkers, Van Jones of Rebuild the Dream, and Michael Brune of the Sierra Club Demanding Pres. Obama Replace Ed DeMarco. Unlikely allies and key segments of President Obama’s election base joined forces today to call on the President to immediately fire and replace FHFA Acting Director Ed DeMarco. DeMarco has raised an army of foes through controversial decisions to not offer support to millions of underwater homeowners and to block a program to green homes and create hundreds of thousands of jobs
"I'm proud to stand alongside these bold progressive leaders and almost 120,000 Rebuilders in calling for President Obama to get rid of Ed DeMarco,” said Van Jones, President and Co-founder of Rebuild the Dream. “There are nearly 24 million 'underwater voters' who owe the bank more than their homes are worth. By firing Ed DeMarco immediately, President Obama can show them he's serious about overcoming Republican gridlock. All he has to do is remove the bureaucrat who has single-handedly blocked hundreds of thousands of jobs while throwing the advice of other administration officials, housing experts, and his own staff in the garbage can.”
Last Tuesday DeMarco announced that he would not allow mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to engage in targeted principal reductions – resetting some home loans to today’s fair market value – despite hisown agency’s findings that it would save taxpayers more than a billion dollars. One study found that widespread principal reductions could create up to one million jobs.
“As the head of a union that witnessed many members suffer job losses during the worst of the Great Recession, I hate to see anyone lose their job. In the case of Ed DeMarco, however, he’s got to go,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. “That’s because his refusal to use his authority as acting Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency to reset home loans to today’s fair market values is costing the country hundreds of thousands of jobs. No one person’s job is worth that kind of loss to hundreds of thousands and to the nation’s struggling economy.”
In 2010, DeMarco’s FHFA blocked Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac participation in Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs that were providing middle class Americans a means to invest in affordable energy home upgrades that in turn could have created hundreds of thousands of jobs.
"Sierra Club and our 1.4 million members and supporters are proud to join this effort with Rebuild the Dream, Steelworkers and the greater progressive community. In his four years at the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Ed DeMarco has stood as a barrier to progress and job creation. By blocking mortgage firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from participating in Property Assessed Clean Energy initiative, DeMarco effectively denied millions of Americans the opportunity to participate in a program that would have cut pollution, saved middle class families thousands of dollars in energy costs and could have created hundreds of thousands of permanent jobs,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune.
The USW, Sierra Club, and Rebuild the Dream’s central demand of President Obama is that he make an immediate recess appointment to permanently fill the acting director’s position.