The ACORN provision in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Bill of 2008 looks to be dead along with several other provisions that would have clouded the bill. As it stands now, the bill may have a chance of passing both houses of Congress relatively clean. If no amendments are sought this bill could pass by Tuesday or Wednesday. If either house seeks more, it could delay a vote until later in the week.
As I mentioned earlier, the bill does have a provision that John McCain sought in his economic plan for America. The HOPE for homeowners provision found in Section 110 of the bill (page 26 of 110), and Section 124 ( pg 69) provides for the opportunity to refinance principal or interest rates on mortgages, thus slowing the rate of foreclosures and giving homeowners time, if they want, to find an alternative to foreclosure. Provisions were made for more oversight which Senator McCain has been calling for since 2006 (see comments of May 25,2006 in previous post). Additionally, executive compensation was also curtailed in the bill, a provision both candidates sought.
Absent from the bill is a mandate Senator Obama wanted that would have given trial judges the right to adjust mortgages during hearings. This provison would have allowed trial lawyers to bulk up their briefcases with new cases to protect the ‘innocent’ from the big corporations. Also absent is the provision that unions would have had access to corporate board meetings, a dangerous and unsettling proposition that would have given unions even more influence in politics and business. Also to the dismay of Senator Obama, the bill lacks even one mention of the words ‘middle class’. Perhaps Senator Obama could have fought for these provisoons harder had he been in Washington this weekend instead of “calling in” his support.
Pelosi,Reid, Dodd and Frank all stood up to take credit for this bill and divert blame to Bush even before the ink was dry on this bill. Obama didn’t even wait for ink to be on the bill before he took credit (see previous post). But it House Republicans who stood up and killed many of the provisions that would have delayed the bill. Provisions like the one that funded ACORN and other groups would have made this bill worthless.
No matter who claims ultimate victory on this bill, I still say the real loser is personal responsibility. Because for those of us who struggle, yet continue, to pay a mortgage and bills on time and who seek personal solutions to economic challenges, this bill will do little. But for those who failed to act or were unwilling to act when they saw trouble ahead, this bill will probably buy them more time to consider their mistakes before either acting responsibly or repeating them. If the former is true for these people than the bill will have been a good risk. If the latter turns out to be true however, I hope our leaders will have the sense to say ENOUGH! and allow them to fall as far and as hard as they must.