Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Oversight Dems Hit the Road

The Hill reports Democrats on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee locked Republicans from a meeting room to prevent them from meeting when Democrats were not present. Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) took this action after Republicans filmed a meeting last week skipped by Democrats. It seems as though Dems would rather "hit the road" than attend a committee mark-up where they faced a Republican demand for a vote to subpoena Bank of America records of the Countrywide VIP loan program. The film from the meeting was made available on the minority web page:

Democrats clearly didn't want to give Republicans an opportunity to make another video so locking them out of the meeting room was somehow a logical solution? Democrats seem unable to come up with a concrete answer why they skipped the meeting on the important vote last week as well:
Republicans charged that Towns cancelled the meeting to avoid the subpoena vote. Democrats first claimed the mark-up was canceled due to a conflict with the Financial Services Committee. Later they said it was abandoned after a disagreement among Democratic members on whether to subpoena records on the mortgage industry’s political contributions to Republicans.
I am sure the poor Dems were positively "Verklempt" over the thoughts of subpoenaing Republican records they mistakenly left the evil Republicans to talk among themselves. You might think they could pull themselves together to investigate the irresponsible lending practices that led to the collapse of the housing market. Well at least Rep. Darrell E. Issa (CA-49) thinks so:
“The origins of the financial crisis lie in the collapse of the housing market – a collapse that was spurred on by reckless and irresponsible lending policies at companies such as Fannie Mae and Countrywide,” said Rep. Issa. “The benefits and strategy behind the Countrywide VIP program were reminiscent of the benefits Jack Abramoff bestowed on individuals with political influence. This Committee, on a bipartisan basis, conducted a targeted investigation into the Jack Abramoff scandal. It needs to investigate Countrywide’s efforts to buy influence.”Added Issa, “Democrats may have skated out of today’s vote, but they can rest assured that Republicans will again demand a vote to hold Countrywide accountable.”
Now why on earth would Democrats be reluctant to investigate Countrywide's sweetheart loan program?

H/T: Memeorandum

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