Obama Aides Cite Risk Aversion As Reason to Oppose Immediate Bankruptcy Reforms

by: David Sirota

Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 16:00


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?

David Sirota :: Obama Aides Cite Risk Aversion As Reason to Oppose Immediate Bankruptcy Reforms

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Simple (4.00 / 1)
The Senate is the most vestigial of all the federal government's organs.

Conduct your own interview of Sarah Palin!

Separate bill (0.00 / 0)
The obvious solution is to make this bankruptcy reform a separate bill; and then pass it.  Any word that such a bill is being written?

according to the article he links to (0.00 / 0)
that's what they plan to do.  Obama says he's on board, Pelosi says she's on board; they'll just pass a separate bill around the same time.   that is, if the MONEYED INTERESTS don't stop them first.

[ Parent ]
don't they have a lot more leverage if they attach this to the stimulus though? (0.00 / 0)
much more easier to filibuster a bankruptcy-only bill than the stimulus

[ Parent ]
Sorry (4.00 / 2)
Bankruptcy reform, now.

Part of the stimulus; if you don't save homes now, then each month more and more foreclosed homes hit the market, more and more families lose their homes, more and more people will be unable to work their way back to prosperity.

nota bene

I am one of those whom this would help.  Without this modification, my wife and I are in too deep to survive Chapter 13, but made too much to ask for Chapter 7.  Under pre-2005 rules, we could have survived, and with the expressed reforms, we could, but right now we would lose home, credit, hope, and probably our marriage.


David, you did a great job on Moyers' show (4.00 / 1)
Just finished watching about 15 minutes of the first segment.  I was trying to split my time betw. Rachel and Moyers to catch you and Tom Franks, figuring you were in the second segment (based on TV guide description of the show).  Anyway I caught the last 15 minutes and your answers were clear and honest, and it seemed that Moyers knew your work pretty well and was impressed with you.  I got the distinct sense that he agrees with your point of view.

During the last few minutes you and Tom were talking about the movement behind Obama, and how it needs to keep pushing him to do the right thing.  I couldn't agree more.  Rachel just did a pie chart of the stimulus package and by their estimate, only 7-17% (they said sometimes it was a toss up on whether something belonged in the infrastructure category) is being spent on infrastructure.  33% is set aside for tax cuts, and apparently these tax cuts won out over money allocated for infrastructure.

This is a disgrace -- especially when we have Democrats all over the place talking about how the stimulus is going to create jobs, build things in America, etc. etc.  They're deceiving the public when they speak this way.  

Again, great job on the Moyers show and please keep it up.  Please keep pushing.  It looks like you've got people listening to you and we need that very badly.

P.S. Rachel had Rep. DeFazio (D-OR) on the show and he was saying the same kinds of things and said he has decided to speak out.  He blamed Larry Summers for influencing the allocation of the stimulus money and said that Summers hates infrastructure.  He could be a good ally (if he's not already).

In the netroots, we need the solid, honest voices to be heard, pushing for things that are fair and will really help average Americans.  Some people who who were very (overly?) enthusiastic about Obama are screeching every time he is questioned or criticized and it is affecting our ability to push for progressive policies and decisions.  We need to shout over those voices or convince them that what we're doing is constructive criticism, and intended to help Obama in the long run, not to knock him down.

Please keep up the good work.


shout over the whiners. to hell with them - since (0.00 / 0)
they can't see the INTENTIONAL destruction and thievery from the corporate class ... or maybe they're too fucking stupid to count all the billions/TRILLIONS STILL subsidizing these theiving scumbags?

let them howl and whine away.

this is what MY political advice is to them - stick with teletubbies and seasame street, cuz your head is up your ass when it comes to what the fuck reality is, and what it is going to take to make sure reality isn't that fucked up ever again.

rmm.

It is too full o' the milk of human kindness To catch the nearest way


[ Parent ]
THANK YOU. Instead of fucking WHINING about (0.00 / 0)
how the meanies don't tell the truth and how the meanies aren't nice and how the meanies are ... LOMG! ... mean fucking pricks,

how about kicking the asses of the aristocrats who INTENTIONALLY fucked over tens of hundreds of millions of us working stiffs so the aristocrats live large?

the problem is NOT the lieing, stealing prick aristocrats - their kind has been part of humanity forever and will be part of humanity forever (well, except in the garden of eden and on seasame street) - the problem is the political incompetents who are purportedly opponents of the pricks.

rmm.


It is too full o' the milk of human kindness To catch the nearest way


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