Major "Earmark" in Democrat Bailout Agreement
A republican senate source has confirmed that the questioned provision reported in this post is being opposed by Senate Republicans which has upset Democrats. Republicans are not opposing the obvious issues identified by Reid. They are working to get rid of the questioned provision "if they can." Also, they have already gotten the Democrats to back down from providing "most" of the money ("future profits") to the groups mentioned in the article "to a much smaller percentage." Negotiations are likely to continue throughout the day. Obviously no one is happy - especially the majority of the American public.
Breaking News - Bill Smith, ARRA Editor. I received a copy of "Agreement in Principle" relative to the $700 billion "bailout" being proposed and supported by Senate Democrats. The one page agreement from the U.S. Senate Banking Committee details guidelines to be put in place relative to taxpayer protection, oversight and transparency, home ownership preservation and Funding Authority.
While on the surface the agreement looks generic and positive, However, the "devil is in the detail." There is one detail that Democrats are concerned that Republicans will not agree to in the bailout agreement. That is if the Republicans even see the item. It seems that this issue may be one reason that many Democrats have hounded Sen. John McCain and pushed for his speedy approval. Senate Majority Harry Reid (D-NV) has already identified that it is Sen. John McCain's approval, not Barack Obama approval, that is needed to secure the agreement of Senate Republicans. In fact, the questioned provision indirectly focus on some prior concern regarding Sen. Barack Obama involvement with various organizations. Maybe that is why Obama would prefer being at a debate in Mississippi than being in Washington D.C.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) cohorts are also hounding Sen. McCain to agree. They know that neither the House Republicans nor the House Blue Dog Democrats are going to sign on easily to an agreement extending $700 billion "bailout" if Sen. McCain disagrees. Pelosi does not have control of the fiscally conservative Blue Dogs who are not happy with committing $700 billion to the "bailout" effort.
In the "agreement in principle," there is the effect of a major "earmark" which commits money from future "profits" to be given to nonprofits organizations like ACORN, National Council of La Raza and potentially the National Urban League. This agreement clearly evidences that the Government expects to benefit in the future from the bailout when the values of property rises and mortgages or properties are then sold by the Federal government. The agreement --
"Directs a certain percentage of future profits to the Affordable Housing Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund to meet America's housing needs."In the proposed bailout agreement, Sen. Christopher Dodd, the Senate Banking Committee and other Democrats desire to pre-direct that future funds (profits) not be returned to the taxpayers via the treasury but that they be used to underwrite potential questionable (maybe even illegal activities) of certain nonprofits which have had a hand in promoting and expanding access to "no money down" loans for minorities, illegal voter registrations and extensive lobbying activities.
Let’s examine the connection of the Affordable Housing Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund with the various nonprofit groups mentioned above. In July, 2008, a Wall Street Journal article addressed the previous housing bill signed into law:
ACORN is the agency where Sen. Barack Obama worked as a trainer for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform (ACORN), whose affiliate, Project Vote, is known for voter fraud. It is this same organization from which a large part of the mortgage mess has grown. After Harvard Law School, Obama provided legal representation for ACORN. Obama sat on the boards of the philanthropic Woods Foundation and the Joyce Foundation which both funneled millions of dollars to ACORN.
Provide[d] a stream of billions of dollars for distressed homeowners and communities and the nonprofit groups that serve them. One of the biggest likely beneficiaries, despite Republican objections is Acorn, a housing advocacy group that also helps lead ambitious voter-registration efforts benefiting Democrats. Acorn -- made up of several legally distinct groups under that name -- has become an important player in the Democrats' effort to win the White House. Its voter mobilization arm is co-managing a $15.9 million campaign with the group Project Vote to register 1.2 million low-income Hispanics and African-Americans, who are among those most likely to vote Democratic. Technically nonpartisan, the effort is one of the largest such voter-registration drives on record.
The organization's main advocacy group lobbied hard for passage of the housing bill, which provides nearly $5 billion for affordable housing, financial counseling and mortgage restructuring for people and neighborhoods affected by the housing meltdown. A third Acorn arm, its housing corporation, does a large share of that work on the ground. Acorn's multiple roles show how two fronts of activism -- housing for the poor and voter mobilization -- have converged closely in this election year. The fortunes of both parties will hinge in part on their plans for addressing the fall of the nation's housing market and the painful economic slowdown. . . .
Partly because of the role of Acorn and other housing advocacy groups, the White House and its allies in Congress resisted Democrats' plans to include money for a new affordable-housing trust fund and $4 billion in grants to restore housing in devastated neighborhoods. In the end, the money stayed in the bill; the White House saw little choice. What most riles Republicans about the bill is the symbiotic relationship between the Democratic Party and the housing advocacy groups, of which Acorn is among the biggest. Groups such as the National Council of La Raza and the National Urban League also lobby to secure government-funded services for their members and seek to move them to the voting booth. Acorn has been singled out for criticism because of its reach, its endorsements of Democrats, and past flaws in its bookkeeping and voter-registration efforts that its detractors in Congress have seized upon. . . .
Sen. Obama is especially reliant on registration drives, such as Acorn's with Project Vote, to help him win the White House. The Illinois Democrat draws his strongest support from blacks, Hispanics and young people, groups that are among the least likely to be registered. After law school, Sen. Obama was the director of Project Vote in Chicago. . . .
Democrats on Capitol Hill have helped to steer millions of dollars in housing and other grants from the federal government toward Acorn and groups like it. The groups must qualify and compete for the money, which is typically doled out from the federal government to states and municipalities. The housing package includes a new, permanent source of affordable-housing money that congressional Democrats and grassroots groups have sought for years. The Affordable Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund will be funded by a tax on mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored mortgage titans.
That tax eventually will channel upwards of $600 million annually in grants for developing and restoring housing, mostly as low-income rentals, available to Acorn and other groups. Democrats on Capitol Hill and housing groups say the housing-assistance money is vital to helping Americans hit hardest by what some call the largest drop in home values since the Great Depression. But they acknowledge the perception of political conflict in giving federal funds to an organization that does political work. "We are guarding against it," said Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank in an interview. He secured the Affordable Housing Trust from his seat as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. . . .
Acorn describes itself as the nation's largest grassroots community organization, with more than 400,000 families organized into 1,200 neighborhood chapters in 110 cities. Over four decades, Acorn has turned its broad membership into a powerful lobbying tool. Its representatives are well-known in the marble halls of the Capitol, and press local, state and federal governments . . .
In 2006, the Wall Street Journal addressed Acorn Indictments. In a recent article, additional complaints, indictments and arrests and conviction of ACORN members for voter fraud have been detailed for Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington State, and Wisconsin. Democrats on Capitol Hill have steered billions of the taxpayer monies to risky ventures and to nonprofits organizations like ACORN, National Council of La Raza through the government’s Affordable Housing Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund. As a result groups like ACORN have developed powerful lobby groups to secure tax money for their organizations. Now the proposed "agreement in principle" for the $700 Billion "bailout" seeks to continue the protection of this process. In another article by James H. Walsh, a former federal prosecutor, it was noted that:
ACORN Housing Corporation (AHC) was instrumental in its passage of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) which has plagued the mortgage markets since 1977. The U.S. Congress through the CRA compelled banks and lending institutions to make loans to “communities of color” disregarding sound economic and risk guidelines. CRA encouraged the relaxing of “outdated” risk-management protocols and underwriting obligations by lending institutions. In the name of ending discrimination, no longer were “communities of color” required to provide verification of income, employment, credit history, ability to pay homeowner bills, or down payment. In response, many banks and mortgage groups bundled trillions of dollars of “subprime” loans and sold them to investors here and abroad. It is these bundled Community Reinvestment Act mortgages, doomed to fail, that are today causing financial strain in U.S. and global financial markets.Open Secrets reveals the investment made by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in Democrats and details the Top 25 Democrat Recipients of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac contributions in 1989-2008. The top three in order were Senators Christopher Dodd, John Kerry and Barack Obama.
In short, a Democrat Congress and President demanded that banks change the rules of good banking and open the Pandora’s Box of mortgage defaults and foreclosures now coming to a head. This home-parity concept of the radical left was mobilized by ACORN resulting in a purchase of a property without any credit, income, employment, and a zero down payment.
In 2003, Fannie Mae home-parity funding in Chicago reached $600 billion. When Franklin Raines, former chair and CEO of Fannie Mae, stepped down in 2004 but managed to take with him a multimillion-dollar parachute and a monthly pension of $114, 393 for life, and should he die, for his wife’s lifetime. Until recently, Raines was an advisor to Obama.
When government tries to fix social issues through the use of the taxpayers’ money, there are consequences. Now the American taxpayers are being called upon again to underwrite the problems exacerbated by the prior actions of former and the current Congress and past administrations. It is hoped that Senators and Representatives will avoid this massive "earmark." All "future profits" from the resolution and disposition of the alleged current bad mortgages ("bad paper"), should accrue to the American taxpayers as a whole and be returned to the Treasury. Any determination as to the use of "future profits" should be determined by those elected and representing the people at that future point in time. No agreements should include an obligation on the potential "future profits." No agreements should support questionable programs that support organizations that contributed to the failures of mortgages or to the bad lending practices promoted by prior Congresses and administrations.
Tags: ACORN, bailout, Barack Obama, Chris Dodd, Democrats, earmark, Harry Reid, John Mccain, La Raza, Nancy Pelosi, profits, Republicans, US Congress, US House, US Senate To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!