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Edwards, Cummings Vote "Yes" on Bailout

Rosalind Helderman

Two Maryland Democrats were among those who changed their votes on the Wall Street bailout plan since Monday, shifting from opposition to support and helping push the bill toward passage.

Freshman Rep. Donna F. Edwards (D) and veteran Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D) announced their flip at a joint press conference yesterday morning. In interviews, both said they struggled with the decision, noting they had lingering concerns that the bill will do too little to help working class constituents facing possible foreclosure.

Both represent districts that have been hit hard by the foreclosure crisis; Cummings represents Baltimore and Edwards, who won a June special election, represents much of Prince George's and part of Montgomery counties.

Both representatives said that since Monday, they had begun to speak with constituents who have struggled with the growing credit crunch. Cummings mentioned the owner of a company that makes wire baskets who told him a bank had revoked his line of credit and he was having trouble making payroll. Edwards told of a retired resident of Riderwood in Silver Spring, who saw his retirement savings decline in value 20 percent this week.

"I was not prepread to walk away from this Congress, knowing we would not convene again until after the election and knowing we had done nothing at all," Edwards said.

Another deciding factor for both, they said: Sen. Barack Obama. Cummings said he spoke to the presidential candidate two days ago, Edwards said she received her call yesterday. And while Obama applied no pressure, they said, both said they were reassured by Obama that if he is elected, attention will be paid to their concerns. In particular, both said Obama voiced support for a measure that would allow judges to modify loans of homeowners who have declared bankruptcy.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 3, 2008; 2:47 PM ET
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman  
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Should have known. The rich can get away with anything!

Posted by: Anon | October 3, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

all i can say is wow. Wow!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 3, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

The last thing this country needs is to bailout the corporations that have helped to create this problem.

In my opinion, financial institutions welcomes the immigrant to buy a home, car, and grocery in this country while at the same time the media launches an all out campaign to get rid of the very same people and their jobs. What kind of strategy is that? A few short weeks ago, the new president of the United States would be determined soley based on which one could deport the most unwelcome tax payers, and how fast. The country has achieved success in that effort. What doesn’t make sense about what is happening in our economy?

If the idea is to cut 11,000,000 people out of the job force; the nation as a whole, should be prepared to lose revenue beginning at 11,000,000 x annual salary X # of years they will work. That’s over a Trillion in four short years.

Americans need an unbiased and Independent source to provide a fact based, analytical understanding of economic conditions including supply, demand, price, quantity, short and long-term effects of legislative decisions . An independent institution we can trust to provide direction for industry and employment is necessary . Apparent in the economic crisis today are too many greedy, self serving politicians with too much influence on SEC policy, financial regulation and media. It was a sad day when a panicked and nervous president of the United States promised only a market collapse without $700B taxpayer money. It is a democratic check and balance system that acted as a cup of water in the face of traumatized American public sending a much needed message that $700B is not the only alternative, and the money was denied!

The bailout is Uncle Sam printing up money with no financial backing: no strong economy, no gold or silver, no resources, only paper. Current government assets include a disabled corporate America and failed economic policy behind such dollars. The American tax payer and global investor alike know that a strong currency is derived from a healthy and strong economy and profitable business. Such is not the case with this bailout. Where are the jobs in the proposal? In order for investors to have real confidence is this economy, companies need to make money. A cash injection into losing companies will not create jobs, only false hope that things will get better utilizing the same corporate strategy and lax financial regulations that caused the problems. Who would invest in a failing business, if not to acquire the assets? Why should the American taxpayer invest 700 billion dollars in the failed sub-prime finance industry? Such homes belong in auction after bankruptcy. We should get to the nuts and bolts about what is happening. People can not pay for their homes. Who are the people one might ask? Here is my guess:

3,500,000 ( low income homeowners) x $200,000 (average price home) = $700,000,000,000

Poor people with bad credit or no credit are now homeless! What is this proposed bail out going to do for them? Create jobs? Allow them to buy home? No! Why should the wealthy stockholders of these large corporations be rewarded? The rich that own stock and investments (friends of Washington) will get bailed out of a lower class, and the most of Americans should get nothing ? There are hardworking people in this country that can’t, buy groceries or pay bills. They were stuck with unreal interest rates and overinflated house prices and couldn’t afford to live with the salaries they are able to earn. Families have been laid off and abandoned by wall street to fend for themselves, and the children.

The criminals are in Washington and include corporate officials that were aware the loans and practice; beginning with the SEC , including the CFO’s and ending with the accounting and finance specialists approving loans that should have never been granted. They should be punished for taking advantage of poor people who wanted so desperately to own a home that they would agree to any price an interest rate.

The market is being played like a game for quick profit. When stocks are going up -buy, when price are going down- sell? Where is the long term investment in corporate America? Todays American stock markets are about a quick dollar; volatile and highly responsive to false information. A good investor would not invest In a company that earns no ROI, or ROE and shows no profitability. Why should the US tax payer invest 700 billion dollars into losing companies?

The bailout is not solution. The bailout is a quick fix and will buy the rich time to stay rich and shift investments. Bankruptcy , acquisition or mergers with a profitable company are a natural course for a failed business.

IF the legislation is passed The banks will have freshly printed money to issue new loans ; however, whether or not they will do it, is a separate issue to be determined by the subjective institution. Who is going to issue loans freely is a bad economy? Meanwhile, the value of the dollar will definately decrease on the international level and the markets will continue to scale down to a new equilibrium for price, quantity, demand and supply.

The natural solution is 5 million foreclosed homes getting sold. Such is very possible and will take time. Let nature take it’s course. A bailout is no solution for the crime that has been committed. A bail out will make a victims of every US Citizen for $2,600 each to reimburse the few who have significant investments in mortgage backed securities. The finance industry should prepare to expect the same results as those produced by WorldCom and Enron in a global market. Laws must be revised to ensure stockholder confidence in the money loaning business.

Posted by: Damian Gomez | October 3, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

We see who the real stars of this election are. Participate in a national poll give your oppinion about the VP debate.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 3, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Let's face it - and be honest - reform was voted for in 2005 when other laws which would have prevented this crisis expired. Democrats blocked the reform McCain pushed for then. Democrats caused this ungodly mess and started it when Clinton administration pushed for poor people who could not afford houses to qualify for loans.

Wake up and be honest people with yourself and stop thinking like fricken puppets. The truth hurts if your a democrat - but do the research, they screwed the pooch and caused this mess.

Posted by: Democratic Congress created this mess | October 3, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Clinton instituted policies to let poor people would "could not qualify for traditional loans" to have loans for houses, which now they can't pay for and was the trigger for the crisis.

But there WERE laws to help prevent this until 2005 when they expired, McCain and other republicans pushed very hard to push for regulation that WOULD HAVE PREVENTED THIS. Democrats blocked in.

Now we are in a deep hole thanks to Clinton, and the Democratic congress since 2005.

WAKE UP PEOPLE. Stop putting your head in a hole and sniffer the party line and listening to the elitest in Hollywood. Check the true facts.

Posted by: Facts | October 3, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Everyone keeps trying to point out the low income loans when those program had among the highest rates of repayment.

People who were buying investment properties could more afford to walk away from homes when things went downward.

What has caused the overall problem is the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act...bad mortgages don't collapse economies alone.

Posted by: Amadeo | October 3, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Dems flip. So typical.

Posted by: Dmitriy | October 3, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

just goes to show you that if you add enough pork you can sell Washington a pile of crap and they will buy it while proudly telling you they had your best interests at heart all the time. This while calling their brokers to play the market with inside information. What you all don't comprehend is that losing 1.4 trillion was nothing of any real value but pieces of paper with in God we trust printed on them. The almighty dollar is actually worthless and you just discovered that fact. Your government can tell you the dollar is worth whatever suits their accounting needs at the time and you have no say in the issue. Welcome to the reality of a fools paradise.

Posted by: anOPINIONATEDsob | October 3, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Mike Hargadon is Elijah Cummings' opponent this fall and opposes the bailout:

Please check him out -

Posted by: Adam | October 3, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

If you really wantto understand this mess first go to my website and watch the video "Money as Debt" this will tell you how the unsustianable debt was created.

Next read some of the articles on derivatives there are only about $500B in troubled motgages and $60 trillion on troble create default swaps. It was the default swap and not the mortgages that are the problem. There are over $1.3 quadrillion in know derivatives(more private party derivatives) more than ten times the entire wealth of the world. So if the system collapses after we give the bakers everything we own, we will still have to work the rest of our lives to pay them back. Derivatives are growing at over 20% per year.

The huge commisions paid on wall street were from these derivatives that are leveraged 50 to one or more against debt securities.

Congress has no clue and no power. The private fed which is owned by about 250 banking families rules the world.

Posted by: Peter James | October 4, 2008 2:59 AM | Report abuse

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