House Democrats reached a compromise yesterday on the cramdown provision of John Conyers’ Helping Families Save Their Homes Act, and for a change, it was a decent compromise. Proponents of this legislation pretty much managed to keep the cramdown provision intact, meaning that bankruptcy judges will be able to modify mortgages for homeowners facing foreclosure on primary residences. Plus, there were negotiations with Senate Dems and not just New Democrats, who have been acting on behalf of their corporate interests and have made passing cramdown legislation ridiculously and unnecessarily difficult.
If you want to see what I mean, read Dday’s excellent post, “Ellen Tauscher’s Insatiable Appetite for More Homeless People,” which lambastes Rep. Tauscher, head of the New Democrat Coalition and former Wall Street investor, for delaying this much needed legislation and then bragging about it. Then, read the hilarious message Tauscher’s office sent to Chris Bowers, which took a defensive tone over the criticism Tauscher has received. Tough shit Tauscher! She’s the one who put the interests of banks before her constituents. Not to mention the fact that she has a former bank industry lobbyist working in her office, and is STILL working to restrict the power of bankruptcy judges.
Chances are Conyers’ compromised legislation will pass the House tomorrow. And while, as Bowers noted, it was a good sign to see Senate staffers participating in yesterday’s negotiations, odds are HR1106′s counterpart in the Senate will still face a tough battle. That’s why it’s key to keep Brave New Foundation’s petition going that over 17,000 people have signed in the last four days! We have to keep the pressure up on Congress and get these judicial modifications passed.