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Paul Kiesel
Paul Kiesel
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Senator Dodd vs. President Bush

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Yesterday, before the House passed its housing-relief bill (a bill that President Bush has already promised to veto), Senator Chris Dodd spoke on C-SPAN’s Newsmakers program and had these comments to say about the White House’s approach to the housing and mortgage crisis:

“I get a kick out of this White House. This is a White House that was willing to put $29 billion of American taxpayer [money] on the table to make the deal sweet enough for J.P. Morgan Chase with Bear Stearns. That never came for a vote up here at all, and they are relying on Bear Stearns evaluation of their assets that they help to sell over the next few years. So with all due respect to the administration, they’ve already put taxpayer at great risk…Candidly, to find the administration saying we shouldn’t put taxpayer money at risk here – taxpayer money is at risk every single day with continuing foreclosures. With all due respect this morning to the president, what was the point of that statement? Here, we are beginning a process to deal with housing. And the president says I’m going to veto this bill, even before we’ve had a chance to work on it. Why not say, ‘listen, I want to see what you are going to do. We’d like to cooperate.’… At least sound as though you are trying to work on this. This idea ‘I’m going to veto this bill no matter what you do,’ that’s just infuriating to people who are struggling every day to keep their families together. 280,000 people have lost their jobs. Consumer confidence is at a 25-year low. The fiscal condition of the country is a mess. The dollar sinks every day. Oil is $120 a barrel, and the president is going to veto a bill where you are trying to keep someone in their homes. Now what kind of leadership is that?”

President Bush has repeatedly asked the House and Senate to pass a bill more favorable to the Republican agenda, however, a lot of Bush’s comments on a potential homeowner “bailout,” and his strong disapproval of it, is contradictory to how the White House has already conducted itself on Wall Street and in regards to financial firms needing a “bailout,” i.e. see Bear Stearns. 

Even though it’s uncertain what housing/mortgage remedy will be executed by our government, what is clear is that each day borrowers will continue to lose their homes as lenders and their CEO’s continue to go unpunished or face appropriate accountability.