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Kucinich, Kashkari Battle On the Hill

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) is hammering away at Neel Kashkari, the man in charge of running the $700 billion government rescue/bailout plan at a hearing underway right now on Capitol Hill.

Kucinich, chair of a subcommittee of the House Oversight committee, is accusing Kashkari, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and President Bush of circumventing what Congress intended when approving the bailout.

Kucinich believes Paulson et al. don't care about keeping homeowners in their homes.

"I assure you the secretary is passionate about this," Kashkari said.

"Passionate about what?" Kucinich said.

"About helping homeowners," Kashkari replied.

"Where?" Kucinich asked, sarcastically. "What country?"

"We are using all the tools available to ease the credit crises," Kashkari said. "Let me give you an example..."

Kucinich interrupted Kashkari and continued his harangue.

"Maybe this is a game to some people in the administration. They're on their way out of office and they can do whatever they want," said Kucinich who tried to launch impeachment proceedings against Bush. "Meanwhile, people are hoping against hope" for help with their mortgages.

Kashkari tried to explain why the $700 billion was not used to buy troubled mortgages, but Kucinich would hear none of it.

"If we had spent all $700 billion buying loans, that would be around 3 million homes," Kashkari said. "Instead, if you look at the action we took with [Fannie and Freddie] to set a new standard for servicing mortgages, and other servicers around the country use those standards, those actions have the ability to service almost every loan in America -- that's 55 million loans."

Rep. Darrell Issa said: "You're here today because Congress is convinced you played a bait-and-switch and you're not doing anything to convince us otherwise."

-- Frank Ahrens

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By Frank Ahrens  |  November 14, 2008; 11:07 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  
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Next: Now It's Cummings vs. Kashkari


I live in Kucinich's district. my house was sold at foreclosure in 2008 because the mortgage bank,AmTrust Bank, who was my original mortgage holder changed the purpose of my loan barring me from refinancing my loan.
This same bank produced a flawed appraisal which was the catalyst for my foreclosure. The State of Ohio agreed that my appraisal was flawed.
Kucinich is the only member of Congress that has stood up for those of us that have no voice.
Otherwise I am ashamed of these money grabbing power sucking members of this Congress.They have brought this Great Country to its knees and the country is choking on the Congress's political vomit.

Posted by: MichaelLittleBig | November 14, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Everytime I listen to these hearings, I shake my head in amazement that this bailout is being run as it is. God bless Kucinich, Isa and Cummings for holding "Cash and Carry"'s feet to the fire.

I'm *almost* speechless. Need to get a transcript for this one, for sure.

Posted by: ws_siren | November 14, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Rep. Cummings of Baltimore, this guy is criminally uneducated, pandering to emotions rather than scrutinizing the questioner. After the first round of questioning, it became apparent that the whole testimony was nothing but a charade masqueraded by the officials to bluster and appear as if they are caustically fighting for the "average" citizen. They went on and on with specific examples of how their constituents are suffering and sophomorically dallying around trivial matters of financial market while entirely avoiding asking any meaningful question from Kashkari. I watched Kashkari's eyes popping out in disbelief that how these buffoons are not even bothering asking him any pertinent question what so ever only to condescend him with snide array of misplaced rage.

This obsession by our leaders to keep homeowners in their home will mark the end of whatever is left in this country resembling prudence and morality. I support saving all homeowners not just the irresponsible 3 million living in Mcmansions.

Congress and Sheila Bair's obsession with this spend-only bailout rewards the reckless and punishes the prudent. Consider the lesson it imparts to promote bailouts to the reckless. City by city, neighborhood by neighborhood, people who live beneath their means and manage money carefully will see more careless neighbors supported by federal decree. And what about the 30 percent of this nation who were smart enough to rent? Or how about the large percentage of us who gave plenty of warnings to these same people the government now wants to redistribute my taxes to so they can stay in a house twice the size the home I live in. The backlash to the 700 B bailout package was not only because of the bailout of wall street but also the bailout of the reckless homeowners and their relentless ATM / HELOC spending. As it is now these people can live in their home for over a year rent free while they find a home they should have been living in from the start.

We are becoming a nation of people who feel it is not only okay but justified to cheat, lie, and swindle each other and the rest of the population. Personal responsibility is discouraged by the government and the mainstream media. Our nation is eating ourselves from within just to keep a facade of prosperity. Hope is being replaced by anger and desperation. Welcome to the new dawn.

Posted by: barrybailout | November 16, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

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