The behavior of the Obama folks and the congressional leadership on this one is really gross:
Liberal Democratic lawmakers railed Thursday against the tactical decision of President Obama and House leaders to leave a bankruptcy "cram-down" provision out of the economic stimulus package. The provision would let bankruptcy judges to shrink, or "cram down," mortgages for homeowners who owe more than their home is worth...
The White House and Democratic leaders worry that making the provision part of the stimulus would complicate their efforts to build GOP support in the Senate, where Republicans have enough strength to support a filibuster.
Obama economic adviser Jason Furman made it clear to House members last week that the administration does not want the cram-down provision in the stimulus because it would complicate efforts in the Senate. (emphasis added)
Obama and Democratic leaders say they strongly support the bankruptcy reforms, but are now citing process reasons for opposing its inclusion in the stimulus. This, even though Democrats have 58 votes in the Senate. This, even though the New York Federal Reserve says existing bankruptcy laws are exacerbating the foreclosure crisis.
For the last two years, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has been sending out fundraising solicitations telling us how increased numbers in the Senate will mean big substantive change. Now, with a massive majority in the Senate, we are being told that even policies Democrats strongly support shouldn't be pushed because it might evoke a fight.
What's the point of having the U.S. Senate if Democrats aren't even willing to TRY to push critical legislation?