Republicans are not letting the Countrywide VIP scandal quietly die.
Conservatives already opposed the housing bill now on the Senate floor as a bailout for irresponsible lenders and borrowers. Now they oppose it because it would possibly send billions of dollars Countrywide’s way.
Nine GOP senators asked leadership to pull the bill, as The Crypt previously reported. That didn’t work, so now those same nine want to offer an amendment that would send the bill back to committee with instructions to investigate just how much Countrywide stands to gain from the legislation, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) said on the Senate floor this morning.
Responding to the housing crisis is important, he said, but “we need to do it in a way that the American people trust.”
Over in the other chamber, Republican Study Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas made good on his vow to send a letter calling for ethics investigations to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The letter carried 28 signatures, including those of several GOP House leaders. Minority Leader John A. Boehner of Ohio, Whip Roy Blunt and Republican Conference Chairman Adam Putnam are among the signers.
The letter demands an investigation with open hearings into the validity of the charges against Sens. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), whether the practice is widespread, the extent to which the sweetheart deals influenced public policy, and what steps should be taken to assure the preferential treatment doesn’t continue.
The House Republicans also attempt to tie the scandal to the housing legislation: “The impact of these allegations is exacerbated by the fact that Congress is currently considering a $300 billion bill that would bailout many large mortgage lenders from some of their own bad financial decisions.”
Full leter after the jump.
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