Donna Edwards and Her Concession from Obama on Bankruptcy

by: Matt Stoller

Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 17:56

As I said before, Donna Edwards trusts Barack Obama, and it looks like her 'yes' vote was a result of a conversation with him.  She secured a pledge from him that he would "work to provide direct relief to homeowners facing foreclosure by enabling home mortgages to be dealt with in the context of personal bankruptcy and looking at a program such as one that existed in the 1930's to 1950's to work directly with homeowners to mitigate foreclosures."

She used leverage to extract a pledge from him.  I still think that her vote was wrong, but note that she got something for homeowners for her yes vote, unlike the yes votes on Monday.  Her full statement is below.

Matt Stoller :: Donna Edwards and Her Concession from Obama on Bankruptcy
Congresswoman Edwards Votes for Main Street - Jobs, Retirement Savings, Home Owners, and Small Businesses

Senator Barack Obama Salutes the Congresswoman's Vote and Pledges Commitment to Provide Direct Relief to Homeowners

Washington D.C. - Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (D-MD) today voted for the Emergency Economic Recovery Act.  She had voted against the package that was defeated earlier in the week. Today's bill passed the House 263-171.

"Today our country stands at an economic crossroads," said Rep. Edwards.  "My vote today was all about Main Street -jobs, retirement savings, home owners, and small businesses.  While this legislation does not aggressively strengthen foreclosure mitigation efforts more directly for homeowners the ramifications of doing nothing impacts us all.  

"After speaking with Senator Barack Obama yesterday and with many of our retirees, workers, homeowners and small business owners, I am convinced today that even left with this imperfect product, the choice is this or nothing.  For me, doing nothing was never an option.  I appreciate the personal commitment that Senator Obama made to me that we will work to provide direct relief to homeowners facing foreclosure by enabling home mortgages to be dealt with in the context of personal bankruptcy and looking at a program such as one that existed in the 1930's to 1950's to work directly with homeowners to mitigate foreclosures.  I look forward to working with the leadership and the President to protect homeowners and stabilize our economy.  Finally, I understand that this is the beginning of our work to stabilize our economy and prepare for our future-creating jobs, rebuilding our infrastructure and setting important priorities for health care, energy independence, and prosperity for working families."

Senator Barack Obama said, "Congresswoman Donna Edwards has demonstrated impressive leadership during this time of unparalleled economic uncertainty.  Her passion for helping Maryland's working families, small businesses, and communities has been critical to ensuring that Main Street is the focus of this economic recovery strategy.  Donna understood that putting aside partisanship to work with Republicans and Democrats was necessary to strengthen and pass this recovery package.  I have assured her that our economic recovery policies will be well-managed and that we will work hard to get back taxpayer dollars when the economy recovers.  As President, I will work with Donna to make important investments in our nation's infrastructure and bring desperately-needed jobs to Maryland by passing an economic stimulus package, which is one of my top priorities."

"While it saddens me to know that this isn't the best bill that we could have developed, I believe it is the first step on the road to economic recovery," continued Rep. Edwards. "Today's vote is by no means the end of the story. I and my colleagues are committed to taking aggressive action to solve this economic crisis not for Wall Street, but for hard-working, families in my district and across the country."

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Perfectly reasonable (4.00 / 6)
I can easily see having done the same thing, had I been in her position.  

We'll know soon enough whether Obama really can be trusted to follow through, as I hope (and expect).

Yup (4.00 / 1)
A lot of Republicans voted for CAFTA (they claimed) because Bush promised them protections for specific industries.  Most notable was textile manufacturing.  Bush lied (or they lied its hard to say).  I trust Donna and Obama

"Keep the Faith"

[ Parent ]
Obama's word is not enough for me, (0.00 / 0)
particularly as the same person, who has backed down on fisa, offshore drilling, gun control, and principled opposition to the war in Iraq.

Secondly Edwards should have pressed Obama on how this bill was going to be paid for. What happens if this bill fails? Taxpayers will be saddled with $700 bn more in debt. 700 bn dollars less to pay universal health coverage and other social spending. No Edwards vote was short sighted, wrong and I hope she learns from this mistake.

[ Parent ]
Obama would do this when? (0.00 / 0)
Now, I hope.

I'm not interested in a pledge to do something in January, and not just because he might not be president.

Not to mention the fact (0.00 / 0)
That such a move would help governments deal with the plague of foreclosed homes that is only going to increase.

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[ Parent ]
Answering my own question... (0.00 / 0)
Her statement says she's talking about when Obama is president--a job he doesn't have yet and may never have. Pff. Dems should introduce a bankruptcy reform bill yesterday.

[ Parent ]
true, but (4.00 / 1)
Nothing is stopping Donna Edwards from introducing a bill right now, correct?  Unlike us, she is actually in congress.  She doesn't need Obama for that.

[ Parent ]
Sure, but (0.00 / 0)
candidate Obama has unmatched clout. Not quite the clout that President Obama would have, but then I'm not sure a President Obama--while pushing reform unpopular with the drug companies and the HMOs and the oil companies--would really embrace a battle with the financial services industry. Which is to say, there's no time like the present.

[ Parent ]
VP Debate (4.00 / 1)
Well Biden did just bring it up in the VP debate and I'm sure they would be on board if a bill came up.

But yes, Obama writing and passing a progressive and popular bill including this and other needed changes right now would be a good idea for a wide variety of reasons.

[ Parent ]
This Is DEFINITELY Something To Organize Around (4.00 / 7)
The fact that Obama has pledged this is basically a call to organize to make sure it happens.  It's not something to sit back and hope for (on the one hand) or doubt (on the other).

We know darned well that Obama is weathervane, and it's up to us to determine which way the wind blows.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

Don't hold your breath... (4.00 / 1)
This bait and switch act is becoming old hat.  The progressive wing of the Democratic party is sadly becoming increasingly easy to ignore.

[ Parent ]
Yes, organize (4.00 / 4)
But try to do it without diminishing Obama by calling him "weathervane."  Just realize that he's a politician, and he needs a certain amount of space and backing to get behind something.

So, let's work on getting it for him (which I guess is what you're saying).

[ Parent ]
But he's a damn good weathervane (4.00 / 2)
I like Obama a lot more than Paul, but I have no trouble with this caricature.  He has a strong moral grounding, but he is more practical technocrat than populist.

[ Parent ]
When Howard Dean said you have the power (4.00 / 4)
He didn't add an asterix saying that actually Obama has the power.  It is up to us to setup the environment for obama to execute on.

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[ Parent ]
Uh, 159000 jobs lost in September (0.00 / 0)
With all due respect, of course something has to be done so that families don't become homeless, but shouldn't the main focus be on keeping the economy afloat???

[ Parent ]
It's more likely that Obama would honor this pledge (4.00 / 1)
when compared to McSame.

Unlike McSame, Barack Obama has at least to this point, been a man of honor.

You mean like when he said (4.00 / 2)
he would not support any bill that included telecom retroactive immunity, and then did?

Let's just hope that his word here means more.

[ Parent ]
Yes votes, home pages, possible challenger links (0.00 / 0)
as I recall, Obama promised to filibuster telecom immunity (4.00 / 3)
how did that one turn out, by the by?

I hope Edwards will make a lot of noise should Obama fail to live up to this pledge.

Are people ready to primary Obama in 2012? (0.00 / 0)
Assuming he wins, of course. From the comments here and in other diaries, you'd think he were JABD (just another Bush dog)

I'm uncomfortable (0.00 / 0)
That Ms. Edwards felt the need to leverage her aye vote for Senator Obama to make a pledge. If we take his words at face value, he had already made the same (or similar) pledge [those 7 points, or whatever number opposing the Paulson plan]
She should have voted no. If her principles are that fragile and susceptible to compromise, than she isn't person I thought she was.  


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