Facing Countrywide VIP Vote, Committee Democrats Abandon Mark-up
WASHINGTON, DC – Facing a Republican demand for a vote on subpoenaing Bank of America for the records of the Countrywide VIP program, the Oversight and Government Committee Majority today met in private for more than thirty minutes and decided to abandon a scheduled 2 p.m. committee mark-up at 2:35 pm without appearing on the dais to formally convened the meeting. Republican members were forced to sit in the hearing room while Democrats mulled to position. While the Majority cited a conflict with a Financial Services Committee meeting for the after-the-fact cancellation explanation, numerous Democrats, including those on the Financial Services Committee, were captured on video leaving the Oversight Committee meeting space after the cancellation.
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“The origins of the financial crisis lie in the collapse of the housing market – a collapse that was spurred on by reckless and irresponsible lending policies at companies such as Fannie Mae and Countrywide,” said Rep. Issa. “The benefits and strategy behind the Countrywide VIP program were reminiscent of the benefits Jack Abramoff bestowed on individuals with political influence. This Committee, on a bipartisan basis, conducted a targeted investigation into the Jack Abramoff scandal. It needs to investigate Countrywide’s efforts to buy influence.”Added Issa, “Democrats may have skated out of today’s vote, but they can rest assured that Republicans will again demand a vote to hold Countrywide accountable.”