Democrats hit Bachmann on foreclosure vote


The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is targeting Rep. Michele Bachmann following a vote to defund the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). Though the Democrats are targeting Bachmann, her Democratic colleagues, Reps. Tim Walz and Collin Peterson, joined the Republicans on the vote Thursday. Bachmann and Rep. Chip Cravaack both represent districts with a high rate of foreclosures.

The DCCC is hitting Bachmann because she voted against an amendment that would save a portion of the program for senior citizens whose mortgages are in negative equity or “underwater.”

“Rather than do anything to create jobs, Representative Michele Bachmann voted to force Minnesota seniors to face the tragedy of losing the home that they have worked their lifetime for,” Jesse Ferguson of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said in a statement. “While cutting Foreclosure Assistance for the 90,206 Minnesota families, Representative Michele Bachmann wouldn’t even preserve it for the seniors who built our nation. Seniors deserve an opportunity to stay in the home they raised their family and not be driven out but Representative Michele Bachmann may have literally closed the door on the American dream.”

HousingLink’s latest map of foreclosures in Minnesota.

The Washington Post notes that only $50 million has been spent from the $8 billion program. Applications are lower than anticipated: Dow Jones Newswire reports that 65 homeowners have utilized the program. HAMP was passed by the Democratic Congress in 2009 and signed into law by President Obama.

Republican Reps. Bachmann, Cravaack, John Kline and Erik Paulsen were joined by DFL Reps. Walz and Peterson in voting to eliminate the program. Reps. Keith Ellison and Betty McCollum voted against terminating the program.

While Reps. Bachmann and Cravaack voted to eliminate the program, both represent districts with high foreclosure rates. Bachmann’s district was the highest of Minnesota’s eight congressional districts in 2008 and 2009, and those number appear to be shifting to Cravaack’s district.

Eight of the top 10 counties by foreclosure rate according to HousingLink are in Bachmann’s and Cravaack’s districts. Two of the top 10 are in Kline’s district.

Sherburne County in Bachmann’s 6th Congressional District had the highest foreclosure rate with 2.93 foreclosures per residential parcel as well as Wright (2.18) and Anoka (2.08), which were 7th and 8th highest in foreclosures. Isanti (2.56), Mille Lacs (2.47), Kanabec (2.45), Chisago (2.32) and Pine (2.05) counties in Cravaack’s district were 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 9th highest. In Kline’s district Scott (2.23) and Rice (1.80) were 6th and 10th in foreclosure rate.