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Posted on Feb 29, 2008 in Beltway Politics, Campaign '08, Congress, Democrats, Spending

Senate GOP Shows Some Muscle and Blocks Mortgage Bill

Despite not having the majority that they would like in the Senate, Republican Senators have done a fairly good job of flexing the muscle they have in terms of blocking pieces of legislation that could have an extremely negative impact on the economy.

Of these key pieces blocked is what some Democrats believe would be the “second round of economic stimulus” for the lagging US economy.

This bill that the Democrats tried to push through the Senate essentially does what they are known for, creating more programs and more problems.

Just like any bad piece of legislation that makes its way through the legislature, every effort was made to sugarcoat it to make it sound good, and more importantly to sound as if it is something the American people need.

After the bill was blocked, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement:

From CNN:

“The people on Wall Street are high-fiving. They just won again,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said after the vote.

“The big banks just won again. The mortgage bankers won again. Oh, there are a few losers out there, like millions of consumers — millions of people who are going into foreclosure or are about to go into foreclosure. They lost.”

Yes, it is indeed another powerful statement by Harry Reid, but is the problem really as big as he makes it sound?

While in Chicago yesterday, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson had some other ideas:

From the New York Times:

In the early afternoon, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson jumped into the fray, releasing remarks from a speech to be given tonight at the Economic Club of Chicago.

‘So while some in Washington are proposing big interventions, most of the proposals I’ve seen would do more harm than good,’ Paulson is scheduled to say, according to the excerpts released to reporters in Washington.

‘Im not interested in bailing out investors, lenders and speculators,’ he added.

Instead, Paulson is pushing harder for both lenders and borrowers to avoid delays in mortgage relief programs already going on. Paulson noted that 93 pct of mortgages are paid on time and only 2 pct are in foreclosure.

While I wouldn’t consider myself as the most knowledgeable person on many of these matters, I don’t think that the Senate Democrats are doing themselves any justice in terms of getting things passed by trying to push through bills without working with the Republicans.

Since every major candidate running for president is a member of the Senate, the dynamics of the Senate have become even more interesting.

As it stands, the Senate currently has 49 Republicans, 49 Democrats and 2 Independents, with the two Independents caucusing with the Democrats. Basically, the mix has been 51/49.

However, with Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain on the campaign it becomes much closer to 50/50, with John McCain much more likely to fly back for a vote than any of the others.

The Senate Republicans should take advantage of this opportunity as quickly as possible, and try and get some meaningful legislation pushed through.

In what will most certainly be a close election year, Republicans have got to deliver meaningful pieces of legislation so that they have something to take back to their states and camapaign on.