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Press Release - John McCain Outlines New Initiatives To Provide Immediate Help For American Families

April 10, 2008

Today, John McCain Outlined Several New Initiatives To Provide Immediate Help For American Families. Across the country, families are facing economic challenges. Gas prices are rising, mortgages are threatened, and thousands have lost their jobs. Now is the time to act and John McCain outlined several near-term, tangible plans to address some of the challenges confronting Americans today.

Bolstering Job Security:

John McCain Will Reform The Unemployment Insurance (UI) System To Better Assist Displaced Workers. Job security may well be the most pressing problem confronting Americans. Jobs are in jeopardy and the government backstop is not up to the task. For more than year, John McCain has been calling for comprehensive reform of our unemployment insurance and displaced worker programs.

John McCain Believes We Should Have A Single, Seamless Approach To Job Transition Assistance. The UI system must be more effective in helping those who have lost a job. John McCainwill modernize and transform our current programs by consolidating redundant federal programs, strengthening community colleges and technical training and giving displaced workers more choices to find their way back to productive and prosperous lives.

  • Our Unemployment System Should Support Lifelong-Education And Build The Financial Resources To Guard Against Any Job Loss.
  • The Unemployment System Should Encourage Work And Minimize The Time Spent On Government Programs. Workers that get back to work faster and have a strong track record of employment should be rewarded more.

John McCain Will Reform The UI System So That A Portion Of Each Worker's Unemployment Insurance Tax Is Deposited Into A Lost Earnings Buffer Account (LEB). If an individual becomes unemployed, the LEB may be used to cover needed expenses, with a backstop of traditional UI if the account is exhausted before 26 weeks. Workers will have an incentive to preserve their LEB by getting back to work quickly, and may be eligible for a re-employment bonus if they get a new job quickly. The LEB will be portable, and upon retirement, the property of the worker.

John McCain Will Reform Training Programs To Provide Quick Assistance To Workers Seeking New Skills. Workers will have access to a flexible training account that permits them to pay for training at a community college and use leftover funds to keep their health insurance.

John McCain Will Provide Special, Targeted Assistance For Older Workers. Because training is often inefficient for older workers, those 55 years of age and older who have built up an LEB will be eligible for a Lost Earnings Supplement. The supplement of up to 50 percent of their earnings loss (up to a maximum of $10,000) for two years will be rewarded for those who find work inside 26 weeks.

Helping Americans Confront Higher Living Costs:

John McCain Will Help Americans Hurting From High Gasoline And Food Costs. Americans need help right now and relief from high gasoline prices. John McCain will act immediately to reduce the pain of high gas prices.

  • John McCain Will Stop Filling The Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) To Reduce Demand. International demand for oil is bolstered by federal purchases for the SPR. There is no reason to fill it when oil is so expensive, the overall SPR is of adequate size, and when it places further upward pressure on prices.
  • John McCain Will End Policies That Contribute To Higher Transportation And Food Costs. Ethanol subsidies, tariff barriers and sugar quotas drive up food prices and hurt Americans. However, we cannot take the wrong direction and cut off trade for American goods.
  • As President, John McCain Will Pursue A National Strategy To Address Higher Energy Costs.



Helping Americans With The Housing Crisis:

John McCain Believes There Is Nothing More Important Than Keeping Alive The American Dream Of Owning A Home. Priority number one is to keep well-meaning, deserving home owners who are facing foreclosure in their homes.

John McCain's Approach To Helping Sub-Prime Or Other Financially Strapped Mortgage Borrowers Is Built On Sound Principles:

  • No Taxpayer Money Should Bail Out Real Estate Speculators Or Financial Market Participants Who Failed To Perform Due Diligence In Assessing Credit Risks. Any assistance for borrowers should be focused solely on homeowners and any government assistance to the banking system should be based solely on preventing systemic risk.
  • Any Policy Of Financial Assistance Should Be Accompanied By Reforms That Promote Greater Transparency And Accountability To Ensure We Never Face This Problem Again.

John McCain Is Proposing A New "HOME Plan" To Provide Robust, Timely And Targeted Help To Those Hurt By The Housing Crisis. Under his HOME Plan, every deserving American family or homeowner will be afforded the opportunity to trade a burdensome mortgage for a manageable loan that reflects their home's market value.

  • Eligibility: Holders of a sub-prime mortgage taken after 2005 who live in their home (primary residence only); can prove creditworthiness at the time of the original loan; are either delinquent, in arrears on payments, facing a reset or otherwise demonstrate that they will be unable to continue to meet their mortgage obligations; and can meet the terms of a new 30 year fixed-rate mortgage on the existing home.
  • How It Works: Individuals pick up a form at any Post Office and applies for a HOME loan. The FHA HOME Office certifies that the individual is qualified, and contacts the individual's mortgage servicer. The mortgage servicer writes down and retires the existing loan, which is replaced by an FHA guaranteed HOME loan from a lender.

John McCain Calls For The Immediate Formation Of A Justice Department Mortgage Abuse Task Force. The Task Force will aggressively investigate potential criminal wrongdoing in the mortgage industry and bring to justice any who violated the law. The DOJ Task Force will offer assistance to State Attorney Generals who are investigating abusive lending practices.

John McCain Will Bolster Groups Like Neighborworks America That Provide Mortgage Assistance To Homeowners In Their Communities.

John McCain, Press Release - John McCain Outlines New Initiatives To Provide Immediate Help For American Families Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/294347

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