Friday, October 08, 2010

Responding to Concerned Constituents

In relation to a bill that simplifies foreclosures quietly sailing through Congress, this seems credible:
The House actually had passed identical bills twice before, but both times they died when the Senate Judiciary Committee failed to act.... Senate staffers familiar with the judiciary committee's actions said the latest one passed by the House seemed destined for the same fate. But shortly before the Senate's recess, Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy pressed to have the bill rushed through the special procedure, after Leahy "constituents" called him and pressed for passage.

The staffers said they didn't know who these constituents were or if anyone representing the mortgage industry or other interests had pressed for the bill to go through.
After all, I'm sure that Senator Leahy's office is flooded with calls from homeowners, concerned that their houses weren't being foreclosed upon quickly enough.
These staffers said that, in an unusual display of bipartisanship, Senator Jeff Sessions, the committee's senior Republican, also helped to engineer the Senate's unanimous consent for the bill.

Neither Leahy's nor Session's offices responded to requests for comment Wednesday.
It's nice how the parties can come together to look out for the little guy.
Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner told Reuters in an interview that the law would weaken protection of homeowners by requiring many states to accept lower standards for notarizations.

She said it was "suspicious" that the law unexpectedly passed just as the mortgage industry is facing possible big costs from having filed false or improperly notarized documents.
So cynical! Why, all you have to do is as the sponsor:
Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., said in a statement that there is "absolutely no connection whatsoever" between his bill and "the recent foreclosure documentation problems."

Aderholt said he'd first introduced the measure five years ago, before the foreclosure crisis and related scandals. He said he's "disappointed" in the veto and added that it's a matter of a "misunderstanding."
See? It's a proposal that's been around for five years and kept dying in Senate committee. So why would you believe that its sudden, quiet passage through the Senate by unanimous consent at the behest of "concerned constituents" was anything but "business as usual"?

Update: And the very next day.... (Purely a coincidence, I'm sure.)

Update 2:

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