Saturday, May 2, 2009

Do the Bankers Own Congress?

Legislation sponsored by Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) recently failed to overcome a 60-vote filibuster in the Senate. This measure would have allowed bankruptcy judges "to modify troubled mortgages, lowering the interest rate or principal balance, a process known as a cramdown. Bankruptcy courts can already make those changes for a second home or investment property, but not a primary residence."
Durbin noted that estimated foreclosures during the housing crisis has ballooned from 2 million to 8 million since his campaign for the change to the bankruptcy code began. He said, "I'll be back. I'm not going to quit on this."
Supporters argued the measure would keep 1.7 million borrowers in their homes, but it ultimately foundered in the face of fierce financial industry and Republican opposition. The bankruptcy modification provision, which was offered an amendment to a broader housing bill, failed by a vote of 45 to 51.
Daily Kos is correct:
The concept by Durbin, Boxer, and Schumer was simple -- allow bankruptcy judges to change terms of peoples' mortgages so that they could make payments that they could afford.
This is a sad day for this country when we have so-called "Democrats" who cave into the Republicans as though George Bush were still in office and Tom DeLay, John Boehner, and Roy Blunt were stalking the floors of Congress bullying reluctant members to go along with the Bush administration's unconstitutional schemes.
The following so-called "Democrats" decided that they would favor the banking industry over the well-being over 2 million people whose homes are in danger of being foreclosed on:

Baucus (D-MT)
Bennet (D-CO)
Byrd (D-WV)
Carper (D-DE)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Johnson (D-SD)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lincoln (D-AR)
Nelson (D-NE)
Pryor (D-AR)
Specter (D-PA)
Tester (D-MT)

An interesting point is that 5 of the 12 senators who voted NO [in bold] had previously joined with Evan Bayh's "conservadems." Bayh even voted YES on this bill.

Then of course Arlen Specter, who just switched to being a Democrat in name only, also voted with the Republicans.

Anyone Surprised? Maybe Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid should be.

Sen. Reid believes that the Senate will agree to bipartisan legislation without the need for reconciliation. Reconciliation would insure that major bills would pass by a simple majority vote and avoid a Republican filibuster. He specifically sees this bipartisan legislation working on the issue of health care.

As evidence that he's hoping not to rely on reconciliation, which requires just 51 votes, Reid noted that with Sen. Arlen Specter's defection to the Democratic Party this week, he would need just one Republican to cross over to get the 60 votes needed.

Sen. Reid needs to wake up to reality. The vote on the Durbin amendment was bipartisan only on the Republican side.

What about President Obama? According to Arianna Huffington, Obama needs to say 'enough' to the bankers.

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