I am pleased that the President recognized this legislation and I look forward to working with the Administration and my colleagues in the Congress to get this enacted.  The recent decline in the nation’s housing market has had a devastating effect on homeowners.  Many have had to sell their homes for less than they paid for them, and many times these people have leftover mortgage debt owed to their bank.  Banks will sometimes forgive this debt because the homeowner has undergone enough hardship.  When this happens, however, the homeowner must pay income tax on this forgiven debt!  It is patently unfair to tax people on this “phantom