Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart

Representing the 25th District of FLORIDA

Diaz-Balart, Wexler Chinese Drywall Legislation Passes House: Amendment on Chinese Drywall Added to Critical Mortgage Reform Legislation

May 8, 2009
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC-Today, an amendment introduced by Congressman Robert Wexler (D-FL) and Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) calling for the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, in consultation with the Secretary of Treasury, to conduct a study of the effect of the presence of contaminated Chinese drywall on residential mortgage loan foreclosures, was added to the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act. The amendment also requires these agencies to study the availability of property insurance for homes where Chinese drywall is present. The legislation passed today by a vote of 300 to 114.

Congressman Wexler and Congressman Diaz-Balart are urging the federal government to swiftly respond to thousands of families in South Florida and across the country concerned about the corrosive damages and serious health risks posed by Chinese drywall used in their homes. Wexler and Diaz-Balart have written a letter to House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-WI) and Ranking Jerry Lewis (R-CA) requesting at least $2 million in emergency funding for Consumer Product Safety Commission to conduct critically needed studies on the problem substances within Chinese drywall.

“Parents who have found Chinese drywall in their homes and wish to leave out of concern for the safety and health of their children are facing the dilemma of how to find secondary housing and maintain their mortgages on their primary residences,” said Congressman Wexler. “In addition, the values of these homes in most cases have plummeted due to this tainted drywall. I am pleased that this important amendment took this step forward today and look forward to working with Congressman Diaz-Balart and the rest of my colleagues in Congress who want to see the federal government act swiftly on this unfortunate issue.”

“This is an important issue that affects not only the residents of Southern Florida but also thousands of homeowners nationwide.  Chinese dry wall presents a serious health hazard of great concern and is resulting in homeowners walking away from their homes.  My priority is to keep our families safe and ensure that they can live in a sound and stable environment.  It is critical that we address this problem swiftly to avoid devastating results in our communities and long-term effects on the health and wellbeing of our families.  I thank Congressman Wexler for his support and look forward to working with him and other colleagues on taking the necessary actions to address the issue,” said Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL).