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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