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Player of the Week: Christopher Dodd

Six months ago yesterday, Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) attended a press conference on Capitol Hill with other big-name Democrats to call on the Bush administration to do more to deal with the growing housing crisis. Then Dodd left town to campaign for the presidency in Iowa, missing a Banking committee hearing the next day on industrial loan companies.

Dodd missed a lot of hearings and a lot of Senate votes in 2007 as he poured his efforts into his campaign. He moved his family to Iowa and enrolled his daughter in school there -- all for naught. Three months ago yesterday, Dodd dropped out of the race after finishing sixth in the Hawkeye State's Democratic caucus.

Dodd returned to Capitol Hill to find a full plate of hot-button issues awaiting him and the committee he chairs, and his work since dropping out of the White House race came to fruition in recent days. Dodd was the key Democratic negotiator on the Senate's bipartisan housing bill, making him Capitol Briefing's Player of the Week.

During the recent two-week congressional recess, Democrats were lambasting President Bush and the Hill GOP in full force on the housing crisis and for the administration's handling of turmoil in the financial markets. Dodd joined the attack, complaining March 17 that "the Administration has offered only timid measures that have done little to help families keep their homes or restore confidence to financial markets."

When Congress returned to town Monday, it appeared the two parties were miles apart on how to deal with the housing crisis. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) appeared intent on bringing back the same housing stimulus bill that had been blocked by Republicans in February.

Then, a breakthrough. On Tuesday, Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced they would work together on moving a compromise bill, and that Dodd and Senate Banking ranking member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) would work out the details.

In a little more than 24 hours, Dodd and Shelby crafted the measure that is currently moving toward passage in the Senate. Along the way, both sides had to compromise; Democrats had to give up a provision allowing bankruptcy judges to re-write the terms of mortgages, but they did get Republicans to agree to $4 billion in grants for cities to buy foreclosed properties.

Even if the Senate, as expected, passes the compromise bill next week on a bipartisan basis, the debate won't be over. The House is eager to get its hands on the bill, and will likely pass a package tilted more towards Democratic priorities. A House-Senate conference to reconcile the two bills will be tricky, and Dodd will be the lead Senate Democrat at the negotiating table.

Politically, Dodd may have hit his ceiling. Though he is a youthful 63 (he has two daughters aged 6 and 2), he appears unlikely to run for president again after this cycle's disappointing campaign. He could angle for a cabinet post or, as he has toyed with in the past, the Connecticut governorship.

But even if a better job never comes along, Dodd can always content himself with flexing his legislative muscles in the Senate. He has a key chairmanship in a majority that looks like it will be around for awhile, and he can continue to put his stamp on major bills for years to come. No matter what the voters in Iowa think.

By Ben Pershing  |  April 4, 2008; 11:58 AM ET
Categories:  Player of the Week  
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Posted by: votenic | April 4, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Just think what he coulda done as president. What a shame.

Posted by: kagy | April 4, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson
Has Already Received His PERSONAL BAIL-OUT

Under Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's .. Former leadership at
Goldman Sachs, the company has been instrumental to its penetration of Western
capital and other markets. - - Henry Paulson was vastly effective in Communist
China's .. Interests and enabling their access to Western economic assistance
and high technology

In late January 2006, Goldman Sachs purchased a stake in the Industrial and
Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), China's biggest bank, for $2.58 billion
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson''''s .. Personal stake .. In this transaction
was $25 million

A PERSONAL BAIL OUT for : Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and His
Criminal Friends

(Mar 27, 2008 (ruters.com) BBC) ... White House Resists Pleas for .. Mortgage Bailout
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As clamor rises for federal help for homeowners
who face losing their homes .. U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson .. Seems
to be digging in heels against the effort.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Paulson sounded a tougher note than ever against any
possibility of bailout for individual mortgage holders, singling out the growing number
going "under water" as their loans exceed the diminishing value of their properties.

US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson
Has Already Received His PERSONAL BAIL-OUT

Under Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's .. Former leadership at
Goldman Sachs, the company has been instrumental to its penetration of Western
capital and other markets. - - Henry Paulson was vastly effective in Communist
China's .. Interests and enabling their access to Western economic assistance
and high technology

In late January 2006, Goldman Sachs purchased a stake in the Industrial and
Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), China's biggest bank, for $2.58 billion
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson''''s .. Personal stake .. In this transaction
was $25 million

A PERSONAL BAIL OUT for : Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and His
Criminal Friends

(Mar 27, 2008 (ruters.com) BBC) ... White House Resists Pleas for .. Mortgage Bailout
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As clamor rises for federal help for homeowners
who face losing their homes .. U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson .. Seems
to be digging in heels against the effort.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Paulson sounded a tougher note than ever against any
possibility of bailout for individual mortgage holders, singling out the growing number
going "under water" as their loans exceed the diminishing value of their properties.

US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson
Has Already Received His PERSONAL BAIL-OUT

Under Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's .. Former leadership at
Goldman Sachs, the company has been instrumental to its penetration of Western
capital and other markets. - - Henry Paulson was vastly effective in Communist
China's .. Interests and enabling their access to Western economic assistance
and high technology

In late January 2006, Goldman Sachs purchased a stake in the Industrial and
Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), China's biggest bank, for $2.58 billion
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson''''s .. Personal stake .. In this transaction
was $25 million

A PERSONAL BAIL OUT for : Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and His
Criminal Friends

(Mar 27, 2008 (ruters.com) BBC) ... White House Resists Pleas for .. Mortgage Bailout
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As clamor rises for federal help for homeowners
who face losing their homes .. U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson .. Seems
to be digging in heels against the effort.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Paulson sounded a tougher note than ever against any
possibility of bailout for individual mortgage holders, singling out the growing number
going "under water" as their loans exceed the diminishing value of their properties.

Posted by: foramerica | April 4, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

These tax provisions will keep property values up, keep folks in their homes, and keep businesses afloat," said Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont.

Are you kidding me!!! This is a joke right???????? Please show me were this will help 10's of million home owners keep and stop forcloseing and americans going thru bankrupty..!!!! please show us americans.. I thought I have seen everything this stupid, I guess wrong..

I hope you are not up for election soon!!!! You haven't seen anything yet wait until all of you in congress see this ecom/ in this country go right down the toilet..you think the great depression was something, you haven't seen anything like you will see coming soon to the united states of america...

You all need to come out in the real world, that in the homes and look into our eyes and our kids faces seeing all their dreams go down. I once was proud to say I am a american and this is the greatest place on earth to live.

And yes I am a veteran also..but this congress has let us americans get sold to the highest bidders, what o joke this country is today..

Please everyone in congress, please read this and do the right thing for us americans.

David a belanger, U.S. VETERAN, AND AMERICAN!!

Posted by: foramerica | April 4, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

TO EVERYONE IN CONGRESS


His comments( the president) came as the president paid a quick visit to a nonprofit debt counseling center in Freehold, N.J. to refute exactly that sort of criticism and argue his administration has acted effectively.

The administration's moves over the past about six months include expanding the Federal Housing Administration's ability to offer refinancing to homeowners with good credit, allowing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to buy up more home loans, and brokering help for struggling homeowners through a private-sector mortgage industry group. That group has agreed to offer a five-year rate freeze for people who have not missed payments or a 30-day foreclosure pause for those who fall behind. / well congresswoman niki I had excellent credit before all this mess started, so please tell me and all good working americans now that don't have good credit how we can get help??

President Bush again urged people in trouble to call the group, which connects homeowners with centers like Novadebt, the one Bush visited. But as when he first announced the hotline in December, the president got the number wrong - twice. He later returned to the podium, because he said "I got to get this right," and gave the correct number: 1-888-995-HOPE.

"There are some homeowners who have made responsible buying decisions and who could keep their homes with just a little help," he said., but its ok for him to give jp morgan 30 billion of tax payers money to bail out a wall street firm that was part of this mess!!! Why??? If we the people have to go bankrupt,and lose everything!!! Why shoulded the ones who did this to americans get the same treatment???? Again the rich saveing the rich..

The president has come out strongly against the Democrats' housing package, warning that an overzealous governmental response to the nation's housing woes could hurt the economy's ability to recover long-term. Bush did not again explicitly reject the Democratic ideas on Friday, but implied that Washington should act only carefully.

"We have a role to play at the government level, and that is to help lenders and borrowers work together to avoid foreclosure," he said. "The housing market problems are complicated and there's no easy solutions. But ... we will help responsible homeowners weather a difficult period."

The presidents statement above makes no sense,so far they have only help wall-street boddie"S. look at this jp morgan deal with bearsterns, stock closes on that Friday at 30 a share, Monday morning they sell the company for 2 dollars a share??? And now we know this as well the ceo of jpmorgan is also on the board of fed bank in new york that was part of this deal with the feds, and lets look at the rest of the crimenals involved in this mess, lets look at old big ben the fed ,and the great paulson, mr potato head as I call him

Niki, please take what I am saying and do something about all this mess and lets start thinking of all americans for once in CONGRESS..ITS YOUR DUTY,AND OATH TO PROTECT US AMERICANS.

#1- THERE IS A SIMPLE WAY TO DO THIS,AND IT WOULD SAVE ALL AMERICANS FROM LOSEING THEIR HOMES FROM FORCLOSER,AND ALSO HELP BANKS THAT ARE LOSEING HOMES FROM FIRES,AND SAVE TOWNS IN PROPERTY TAXES.

#2- YOU ALL IN CONGRESS HAVE FORGOTTEN A LOT OF US , THIS MESS STARTED HAPPENING IN 2003 AND EVERYONE THAT GOT MORTGAGES FROM 2000 TRU 2007 ARE GOING TO NEED HELP AND IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH SUBPRIME LIKE EVERYONE IS TRYING TO PUT THE BLAME ON THEM..REASONS, THEY SAY THE SUBPRIME AMERICANS TOOK A SPECULATION ON THE RATES AT THE TIME, THAT'S TRUE, BUT WHO AND I MEAN WHO???? DID MORE OF THE SPECULATING ON ALL THE MORTGAGES THAT THEY WERE SELLING TO THE HIGHEST BIDDERS!!! WALLSTREET WAS ALL THESE MORTGAGE COMPANYS THAT IN THE FIRST LIED I HOPE YOU REALIES THIS NOW THAT MANY HAVE COME FORWARD TO TELL THE TRUTH ON ALL THE LIES THAT THEY DID..

#3- THE APPRAISEING OF HOMES, ALL LIES FROM 2000 TO 2007 . IF A HOMES REAL VALUE WAS 200000 THEY LIED AND SAID IT WAS 400000 TO GET MORE MONEY, NOW COMES THE REAL STORY. THESE MORTGAGE COMPANYS LETS SAY HAVE 10 BILLION IN MORTGAGES TO SELL TO INVESTORS, SO THEY SAY LOOK WE HAVE 10 BILLION WORTH OF HOMES FOR SALE, AND AS YOU KNOW THEY COULD BE WORTH 15 OR EVEN 20 BILLION DOWN THE ROAD AS PRICES AS YOU KNOW WILL ONLY GO UP, SO WHO WANTS TO BUY THESE...

NOW COMES THE TRUTH- THE ORENGNAL 10 BILLION THEY PAYED WAS INFADED BY 50 PERCENT OR MORE, IS REALLY WORTH 5 BILLION, AND THAT'S A MAYBE AS THEY ARE FINDING OUT NOW,,

SO AGAIN I ASK YOU NIKI WHO SPECULATED MORE???? ON THE VALUES OF HOMES...SO NOW COMES THE GREAT BAIL OUT, AND THEY HAVE BEEN DOING IT FOR ABOUT A YEAR NOW WITH FLODDING WALL STREET WITH BILLIONS, AND LETTING AMERICANS LOSE THEIR HOMES. WHY??? ARE YOU ALL IN CONGRESS DOING THIS TO GOOD AMERICANS..WHY??????????? THIS IS WHAT CONGRESS SHOULD DO TO SAY US, JUST AS THE FEDS/BUSH DID TO SAVE WALLSTREET OK.

1/ EVERY BANK,MORTGAGE COMPANY,CU,ANYONE THAT HOLDS THE MORTGAGES. WOULD HAVE TO RE-FI EVERYONE AT A RATE NO GREATER THAN 1 PERCENT OVER PRIME NOMATTER WHAT THEIR CREDIT SCORE IS NOW, AND RE-FI THEIR NEW MORTGAGE AMOUNT AT 50 PERCENT OF THE MORTGAGE THAT THEY HOLD..WHY.. BECAUSE 50 PERCENT IS BETTER THAT WHAT THEY ARE GETTING IF THEY GO BANKRUP OR THE HOME OWNER BURNS DOWN THE HOME THEY SHOULD KISS OUR ASS FOR THAT...

THIS WOULD STOP EVERONE FROM LOSEING THEIR HOMES, AND START PUTTING THIS MESS BEHIND US...IF BEN AND PAUL COULD DO THIS WITHOUT THE PRESIDENT SIGNATURE,OR YOU IN CONGRESS SIGNATURE WHEN THEY BAILOUT WALLSTREET, THEN YOU ALL IN COONGRESS CAN USE THE SAME THING THEY USE..RIGHT RIGHT...

THERE IS A MEETING ON TUESDAY IN CONGRESS AND I WOULD HOPE YOU WOULD GET WITH CONGRESSMEN BOUYER AND SHOW HIM THIS..

THANK YOU
DAVID A BELANGER
VETERAN
For-america@hotmail.com

Posted by: foramerica | April 4, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Kagy is right. When Dodd dropped out we all lost.

Posted by: frankinnc | April 7, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Doddd is a poor loser and a has been....pack it in!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

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