The Senate is on its way to passing yet another massive mortgage boondoggle. It would pile billions of dollars more in stimulus-palooza spending on top of the $152 billion already passed into law and radically expand government’s role in meddling with private contracts. Last night, members voted on a cloture motion to push forward with the housing measure giving judges the authority to alter mortgage contracts and give them the power to cut interest rates on troubled subprime mortgage loans–in addition to doling out hundreds of millions of dollars for “counseling” that would go to left-wing activist groups like ACORN and La Raza (see also my column today on housing entitlement thug Bruce Marks.)
Here’s the roll call vote (just so you’re not confused: HR 3221 is an energy bill which the Senate plans to amend by the substitution of the text of S. 2636, the Foreclosure Prevention Act):
Only one lone dissenter in the Senate, GOP Sen. Jim Bunning of Kentucky, voted no. (You’ll note that all three presidential candidates were no-shows. And you may remember that McCain skipped out on another big stimulus-palooza vote in February.)
That is a true maverick. He joins the 25 House Republican mavericks who opposed the stimulus boondoggle in upholding economic conservative principles.
Sen. Bunning nails it in this summary of one of Sen. Chris Dodd’s pet proposals:
Problem: Homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments are more than twice as likely to go into foreclosure as they are to reach a loan modification agreement with their lender, according to the Washington Post.
Proposal: A Home Ownership Preservation Corp., backed with $20 billion of taxpayer money, would buy up failing mortgages in bulk and renegotiate terms with borrowers.
Status: The corporation is the brainchild of Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., who has not yet formally introduced legislation. Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., is among the plan’s most vocal critics, calling it “a bailout for borrowers and investors who made bad decisions.”
Debate on the Senate floor begins at 9:30am. Harry Reid is scheduled to make some sort of announcement at 12:30pm on what the final measure will look like. Stay tuned. And make your voice heard. Washington needs to hear from responsible homeowners, renters, and borrowers.
The Senate switchboard: 202-224-3121.