Saturday, February 07, 2009
Congressional Republicans have been attacking President Obama's stimulus proposal in any way they can, complaining in particular that it does not adequately address the housing crisis.
In remarks before the Senate on Friday, however, Senator John Kerry blasted the Republicans for only waking up to the housing problem now, when the time to have done something about it was almost a year ago.
Senate Minority White John Kyl suggested last Sunday that the stimulus package ought to be completely rewritten to "start with housing first." Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) echoed Kyl's words, calling the plan "nothing short of a disaster" because "housing and credit are the foundations in this country."
In responding to Corker and his fellow Republicans, Kerry recalled how "I sat in the White House a year ago with Secretary Paulson, President Bush, Vice President Cheney -- and I was the only person in the room who said, 'Mr. President, if you're going to do a stimulus now, you ought to put housing into this package.'"
Kerry explained that he had proposed that homeowners who were in danger of defaulting on their subprime mortgages be allowed to renegotiate them at a fixed rate. In February 2008, Kerry and Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR) tried but failed to attach such a provision to the Bush administration's economic stimulus bill. They did manage to have it included in the the Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008, which finally passed the Senate in July and was signed into law by George Bush....(Click for remainder).