Jan 20, 2017 by

“Today’s action is all the proof we need to know whose side the Trump administration is on”


President Donald Trump got right to work on Friday following his inauguration. (Screenshot: CNN)

About an hour after President Donald Trump was sworn in on Friday, his administration suspended indefinitely a scheduled cut in mortgage insurance premiums—effectively raising costs for middle-class borrowers by about $500 a year.

The drop in rate, which was announced January 9 and supposed to go into effect on January 27, had been lauded as an opportunity to make homeownership more accessible to an estimated one million first-time and low-to-middle-income borrowers.

“Donald Trump’s inaugural speech proclaimed he will govern for the people, instead of the political elite. But minutes after giving this speech, he gave Wall Street a big gift at the expense of everyday people.”
—Liz Ryan Murray, People’s Action

“After four straight years of growth and with sufficient reserves on hand to meet future claims, it’s time for [the Federal Housing Administration or FHA] to pass along some modest savings to working families,” said former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro when the plan was announced.

That opportunity may now be lost.

CNBC described Friday’s move as “one of the Trump [administration’s] first orders,” and the Department of Housing and Urban Development sent out a release (pdf) dated Friday announcing the suspension of the rule “effective immediately.”

However, incoming press secretary Sean Spicer said the newly sworn-in president signed just three orders on Friday: a waiver allowing his defense secretary pick, Marine Gen. James Mattis, to lead the Pentagon; his formal cabinet nominations to the U.S. Senate; and the proclamation of a “National Day of Patriotism”—with no mention of the scheduled mortgage rule. 

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