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THROW THE BUMS OUT - ALL OF THEM Senate Millionaires Kill Mortgage Assistance for Citizens

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The United States Senate took a swipe at the spirit of May Day in a spectacular show of callous indifference when it voted down a bill to provide limited assistance to citizens at risk for losing their homes.  The final vote was 45 in favor, 51 opposed to Senator Richard Durbin's (D-IL) mortgage assistance bill.  The original version of the bill covered some but not all of those requiring assistance.  The final version was even more restricted.  It applied to only homeowners currently in foreclosure as a result of actions prior to the start of 2009.

The denial of assistance to citizens by Senators is ironic given the fact that the origins of the current economic crisis came from Senate legislative actions in 1999 and 2000.

While their avarice knows no bounds, their memory suffers.

Apparently these multimillionaire aristocrats of the Senate "gentlemen's club" haven't been watching the news.  The International Monetary Fund declared that the United States is in a depression almost three months ago.  Delinquency and foreclosure rates around the country are rising at spectacular rates.  Unemployment has jumped by 3.3 million in the last five months.  Economic growth has declined at a rate of 6.3% in the first quarter of 2009.

What part of economic crisis can't they understand?  Apparently all of it.

Memo to stingy Senators:  Workers and their families are in serious trouble or about to be in trouble.  That means they lack the money to pay for their homes (also known as shelter, a basic human need).  These citizens did nothing to bring on this crisis.

You, the members of the Senate, are largely to blame and you know it.

One of the most revealing remarks came from Democrat Ben Nelson (D-NE) who said:

“Do I want to have my rate go up so that somebody else might be able to cram down” their mortgage payment?" asked Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., who voted against the bill.  Associated Press, Apr. 30, 2009

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Nelson has never been regarded as the sharpest tool in the shed but he's set a new standard for ignorance with this remark.  Nelson was worth at least $7.0 million as of reporting in 2008.  Obviously he needs to skimp on every penny to stay afloat.  He'll offer no breaks for financially strapped citizens on the brink of ruin even if they are in trouble as a result of his support of Wall Street welfare.  The bill would have no impact on his or anybody else's mortgage rate unless they qualified for help.  In those cases, the rate would go down.

The Durbin bill offered a reasonable change in bankruptcy law that would allow those in foreclosure to ask (simply ask) bankruptcy judges to invoke a "cramdown."  In that process, the bankruptcy court would set a lower interest rates and longer terms on loans.  This takes the case out of foreclosure and allows citizens to keep their homes and the lets banks collect the money owed at a lower rate over an extended period.  (See this for a real cramdown to benefit all citizens)

The Durbin bill provided limited options since it presumed that homeowners at risk had the money to get in bankruptcy court; that the courts would be able to handle all those in need; and that the judge would accept the request for a cramdown to keep people in their homes.  But the bill might have helped as many as 1.7 million homeowners.

Even with those limitations, Sen. Durbin was forced against the wall and had to negotiate the bill to a lower level of protection.  The final bill rejected by the Senate.  Associated Press reported:  "The latest proposal would have restricted eligibility to homeowners already in foreclosure whose lender had not offered better terms. Homes would also have to be worth less than $729,000 and apply to mortgage loans originated before 2009." Apr 30, 2009

Durbin's last stand would have provided protection some homeowners but now there's no protection for anyone.

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William K. Black is the chief fraud investigator who untangled the 1980's Savings and Loan fiasco.   His comments on the current economic meltdown are instructive and assign blame:

William K. Black: 'We need some chairmen or chairwomen … in Congress, to hold the necessary hearings (on banking fraud) and we can blast this out. But if you leave the failed CEOs in place, it isn't just that they're terrible business people, though they are. It isn't just that they lack integrity, though they do. Because they were engaged in these frauds … they're not going to disclose the truth about the assets."  Bill Moyers Journal, Apr 3, 2009

Senators, you allowed changes in banking regulations that turned Wall Street in to a big casino for the "in crowd" and wiped out millions of small investors and retirement funds.

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I agree "throw the bums out ALL OF THEM"... by William Whitten on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 9:06:59 AM
And nobody would complain because 99% of the peopl... by Michael Collins on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 11:33:54 AM
Now they are trying to scare us with this phony "P... by ramblnrose on Sunday, May 3, 2009 at 9:13:33 PM
How could anyone be at all surprised by any of thi... by Tom Dawson on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 9:07:51 AM
It is extremely glib of you to label those Senator... by Wisewoman on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 11:07:30 AM
You have been tricked by Political Theater. You ar... by William Whitten on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 5:00:09 PM
I was a bit surprised because I wasn't tracking it... by Michael Collins on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 11:37:11 AM
45 didn't vote No, so why do you want to throw... by Steve Consilvio on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 9:08:03 AM
In Florida, there were 10,000 ex felons working in... by Michael Collins on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 11:41:50 AM
The last time I refinanced my mortgage, the mortga... by Joe Vignolo on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 2:29:00 PM
That's a common experience as reported. But we're... by Michael Collins on Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 2:48:22 AM
thank you for exposing  the very upsetting co... by Joan Brunwasser on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 9:14:23 AM
Enough is enough, isn't it? Now, let's hav... by Bryna Hellmann on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 9:42:10 AM
You have No Power... Every six years you have the ... by Steven Thompson on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 12:07:46 PM
and that is the way it has been...forever.  A... by John Olsen on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 3:46:35 PM
There is American law that predates the Constituti... by William Whitten on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 4:56:23 PM
is the only way in terms of our Constitution...but... by Professor Fandel on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 12:50:53 PM
Think of the corporate controlled government as an... by Joe Vignolo on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 3:03:50 PM
Massive work stoppage, massive media boycott (as i... by Michael Collins on Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 2:55:05 AM
It says in the Declaration of Independence that it... by Paul Roden on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 3:32:14 PM
Look up Quo Warranto on your browser. That is the ... by William Whitten on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 4:50:27 PM
A special bank for the House of Representatives ha... by Michael Collins on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 11:45:16 AM
Yes. And I don't get it. There's an ugly c... by Lani Massey Brown on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 1:00:21 PM
Obviously the author doesn't understand that, ... by Rafe Pilgrim on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 9:49:00 AM
12+ trillion..... "I was aghast that we had gif... by richard on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 9:11:12 PM
It's socialism for the very rich and survival ... by Michael Collins on Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 2:59:23 AM
However, homeowners who have been the victims of t... by Mark Adams on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 10:29:31 AM
Great information and links. If enough people cha... by Michael Collins on Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 3:03:26 AM
Pretty much covers it. I don't know why anyone... by Kathy Stuart on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 10:29:45 AM
Post a list of these No vote Senators throughout t... by Ed N on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 12:06:08 PM
This type of vote shows very dramatically how impo... by Archie on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 12:08:42 PM
Could you imagine?  If Congress were only hal... by Sister Begonia on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 12:54:09 PM
passed Durbin's bill.... by Michael Shaw on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 1:46:09 PM
The House passed it. Only the senate didn't. But a... by Michael Shaw on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 2:06:28 PM
I think a lot of these folks will take the Hallibu... by Michael Collins on Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 3:08:41 AM
There are two sets of laws in the US; those for th... by Jeffrey Rock on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 1:09:32 PM
we lose by default.... by richard on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 9:13:36 PM
Has it occurred to the author or publisher here th... by Robert W. Apple on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 1:42:56 PM
watered down his own bill so much that even if it ... by Michael Shaw on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 1:43:01 PM
I agree with Mr. Collins that William K. Black is ... by Michael Shaw on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 1:53:15 PM
When I heard it, they were tacking it onto the end... by Joy Sabl on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 1:59:39 PM
when Reagan first took office, property values dou... by Michael Shaw on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 3:18:24 PM
no. 1 to article above yours, NPR is owned. It h... by richard on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 9:17:59 PM
President Obama has helped bail out the bankers wh... by Munich on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 2:35:25 PM
Get real... by Jeff Harris on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 7:41:22 PM
That's it. Now we'll see what he does on credit c... by Michael Collins on Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 3:11:56 AM
We need to keep these names available next time an... by sandy valencour on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 2:38:30 PM
We need to keep these names available next time an... by sandy valencour on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 2:44:37 PM
I have been watching Senator Ben Nelson for some t... by Susan Nelsen on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 4:30:15 PM
 The problem is the American people have no l... by Larry McCombs on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 5:02:04 PM
No one is lobbying for us per say but we do have s... by Michael Shaw on Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 12:26:46 PM
I wrote my Congressman today and said in no uncert... by Ron Freeman on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 5:08:36 PM
We are now privilaged to watch the wealthy ellite ... by gail combs on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 7:10:56 PM
The only quibble I have is that i think this 'flu ... by richard on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 9:22:58 PM
Now all yall former "yes we can " holler... by Jeff Harris on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 7:40:10 PM
Unless your CitiCorp, in which case your dreams ca... by Michael Collins on Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 3:14:35 AM
...all the'letters"  and threats abo... by waldopaper on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 8:09:57 PM
Their arrogance is disgusting. The 51 can sit in G... by Jason Paz on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 8:40:34 PM
the death penalty will never be sanctioned by the ... by richard on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 9:34:54 PM
They sit around and laugh at their "constituents".... by Jeff Harris on Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 7:27:16 AM
Self sovereignty, our liberty is the jewel monarch... by Nemo on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 11:24:10 PM
for those who voted no.  “Anal sphincte... by Dave Kisor on Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 3:31:31 AM
Thank you so much for this article.  I have k... by Bryan Emmel on Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 3:43:43 AM
ALL of them are only in it to benefit themselves, ... by Perry Logan on Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 6:07:05 AM
We mean dump the WHOLE pail of garbage that is DC.... by William Whitten on Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 3:36:38 PM
The entire House any several Senators are up in 20... by Steven Thompson on Sunday, May 3, 2009 at 1:25:14 PM
How do all these congressmen become millionaires?&... by Martha Moffett on Friday, May 8, 2009 at 10:09:03 AM
I agree: throw them all out.  They are all ri... by Mad Jayhawk on Friday, May 8, 2009 at 10:10:05 AM
Now, watcha wanna do something dumb like that for ... by Sister Begonia on Friday, May 8, 2009 at 11:44:34 AM