Saturday, January 17, 2009

Thursday's TARP Amendment Battles-- A Clue To The Opposition Obama Will Face In The House


If you just watch the final vote on important bills-- like, say, the TARP legislation-- you miss lots of fireworks. Thursday the House went through a series of amendments to that very same law. The easy one was Amendment #7 by Patrick Murphy which requires the Federal Reserve to disclose detailed information regarding its entire Mortgage-Backed Securities purchase program. Every single Democrat and every single Republican voted yes. Wow!

Then we started to get the obstructionist amendments, the ones that are meant to prevent the intent of the legislation. Two of the worst far right fanatics, crazy Republicans Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) offered their off the wall amendments. Bachmann's would have eliminated funding for the HOPE for Homeowners program and Hensarling's attempted to prevent the Obama Administration from delegating an observer to attend meetings of the board of directors of institutions that take TARP money. Both amendments failed, of course, but it was interested to watch which corrupt reactionary Democrats joined the GOP in voting against the interests of working families.

Actually, there were no Democrats willing to vote with Bachmann-- and 31 Republicans crossed the aisle to oppose her harebrained scheme. Even dyed-in-the-wool reactionaries like Joe Barton (R-TX), Mean Jean Schmidt (R-OH), Vern Buchanan (R-FL), and Frank Wolf (R-VA), couldn't bring themselves to support Bachmann's mean-spirited lunacy. She was voted down 142-282.

Hensarling's amendment was more contentious, although it was also voted down, although not as drastically, 151-274. Three Democrats joined the Republicans on this (as 25 Republicans crossed over in the opposite direction). The 3 Democrats were arch-reactionaries Walt Minnick (ID) and Brad Ellsworth (IN) plus, inexplicably, Elijah Cummings (MD).

Earlier in the day Barney Frank had kicked the debate off with an overall amendment seeking to reform the Troubled Assets Relief Program of the Secretary of the Treasury and ensure accountability under the program. That was the tough one and 142 Republicans plus 10 Democrats voted against it-- 33 Republicans voting with the Democrats to pass it 275-152. The reactionary Democrats who crossed the aisle, presage the only kind of bipartisanship that really exists Inside-the-accursed-Beltway: drooling Nazi dupes and the craven, cowering political hacks who give them credibility of sorts. Here are some of the so-called Democrats in that camp, the ones that voted aginst Frank's amendment Thursday:

Jason Altmire (PA)
Chris Carney (Blue Dog-PA)
Lloyd Doggett (TX)
Parker Griffith (AL)
Tim Holden (Blue Dog-PA)
Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ)
Mike McIntyre (Blue Dog-NC)
Walt Minnick (ID)
Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN)
Gene Taylor (Blue Dog-MS)

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At 1:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bachmann, STILL crazy after all these years...


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