Dems push expanded Community Reinvestment Act; deny Act’s role in mortgage meltdown; GOP cites ACORN connection by Byron York at Washington Examiner
A number of experts believe that aggressive enforcement of the 1970s-era Community Reinvestment Act contributed to the mortgage meltdown, and thus to the greater financial crisis, by requiring financial institutions to lend to unqualified borrowers. Now, the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives is responding to that situation by proposing to expand the scope and power of the Community Reinvestment Act.
This morning House Financial Services Committee chairman Rep. Barney Frank held a hearing on H.R. 1479, the “Community Reinvestment Modernization Act of 2009.” The bill’s purpose is “to close the wealth gap in the United States” by increasing “home ownership and small business ownership for low- and moderate-income borrowers and persons of color.” It would extend CRA’s strict lending requirements to non-bank institutions like credit unions, insurance companies, and mortgage lenders. It would also make CRA more explicitly race-based by requiring CRA standards to be applied to minorities, regardless of income, going beyond earlier requirements that applied solely to low- and moderate-income areas.
Republicans on the committee strongly oppose the plan. “Instead of looking to expand the number of institutions that must abide by Community Investment Act regulations,” California Rep. Ed Royce said in prepared opening remarks at today’s hearing, “I think we should reassess the role this and other government mandates played in the financial collapse and consider scaling it back.”
READ THE BILL: http://www.opencongre…
Reinvestment Act Is Tied to ACORN
…So-called “community groups” like ACORN benefit themselves from the CRA through a process that sounds like legalized extortion. The CRA is enforced by four federal government bureaucracies: the Fed, the Comptroller of the Currency, the Office of Thrift Supervision, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The law is set up so that any bank merger, branch expansion, or new branch creation can be postponed or prohibited by any of these four bureaucracies if a CRA “protest” is issued by a “community group.” This can cost banks great sums of money, and the “community groups” understand this perfectly well. It is their leverage. They use this leverage to get the banks to give them millions of dollars as well as promising to make a certain amount of bad loans in their communities. …
…Consequently, banks in every community in America have been forced to hold a portfolio of bad loans, euphemistically referred to as “subprime” loans. In order to compensate themselves for the added risk of extending these loans, many lenders have increased the lending fees associated with mortgage loans. This is simply an indirect way of doing what banks always do – and what they must do to remain solvent: charging effectively higher rates of interest on riskier loans.
But this is discriminatory!, complained the “community organizations.” Thus, if one browses the ACORN web site, one can read of their boasts of having “predatory lending laws” passed in numerous states which outlaw such fees, prohibiting banks from protecting themselves from the added risk involved in making forced loans to “subprime” borrowers. …
Interesting to Me This Comes On The Heels of the Senate Vote to Defund ACORN.. Well, perhaps it is not defunding, but rather a shell game- no doubt learned at the knee of ACORN itself
READ THE BILL: http://www.opencongre…
Learn About ACORN/ CCI
Citizens Consulting Inc. (CCI), the shadowy financial nerve center of the embattled radical activist group ACORN, has filed false lobbying disclosure reports with Congress, according to Ron Sykes, a former ACORN employee. This revelation is important because, as former ACORN national board member Charles Turner said earlier this year on “The Glenn Beck Program,” CCI “is where the shell game begins.”
“ACORN has over 200 different entities that the money gets moved around to – for this purpose to that purpose, this organization to that organization,” said Turner. “We believe the way the money has been moved around, they’ve been laundering money.” When former ACORN activist Ron Sykes was informed by this reporter that ACORN affiliate CCI registered him as a lobbyist, he was angry. “It’s like identity theft,” said Sykes in an interview. “I have no idea why they registered me. I didn’t register myself and was not aware that they were doing it.”
Whether this reflects ACORN’s institutional carelessness or a calculated effort to deceive, the discovery throws some light on how ACORN treats its employees, moves money around the ACORN network, and deals with the federal government. Federal lawmakers have known for years about ACORN’s unorthodox and possibly illegal practices, including its use of government resources to promote legislation and its extensive commingling of funds within its network of affiliates.
CCI Tied Directly To Obama Campaign: http://michellemalkin.com/2008/08/22/acorn-watch-pt-ii-obama-hid-800000-payment-to-acorn-through-citizen-services-inc/ (from Michelle Malkin on 08/22/2008)
..U.S. Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign paid more than $800,000 to an offshoot of the liberal Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now for services the Democrat’s campaign says it mistakenly misrepresented in federal reports. An Obama spokesman said Federal Election Commission reports would be amended to show Citizens Services Inc. — a subsidiary of ACORN — worked in “get-out-the-vote” projects, instead of activities such as polling, advance work and staging major events as stated in FEC finance reports filed during the primary. ..
Is ACORN Intentionally Structured As a Criminal Enterprise?http://republicans.ov…
The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) has repeatedly and deliberately engaged in systemic fraud. Both structurally and operationally, ACORN hides behind a paper wall of nonprofit corporate protections to conceal a criminal conspiracy on the part of its directors, to launder federal money in order to pursue a partisan political agenda and to manipulate the American electorate. Emerging accounts of widespread deceit and corruption raise the need for a criminal investigation of ACORN. By intentionally blurring the legal distinctions between 361 tax-exempt and non-exempt entities, ACORN diverts taxpayer and tax-exempt monies into partisan political activities. Since 1994, more than $53 million in federal funds have been pumped into ACORN, and under the Obama administration, ACORN stands to receive a whopping $8.5 billion in available stimulus funds.
Operationally, ACORN is a shell game played in 120 cities, 43 states and the District of Columbia through a complex structure designed to conceal illegal activities, to use taxpayer and tax-exempt dollars for partisan political purposes, and to distract investigators. Structurally, ACORN is a chess game in which senior management is shielded from accountability by multiple layers of volunteers and compensated employees who serve as pawns to take the fall for every bad act. The report that follows presents evidence obtained from former ACORN insiders that completes the picture of a criminal enterprise.
Read the report, which is linked above.
RECENT RELATED COLUMNS:
How many patriots does it take to affect change in Washington? I guess about 2 million:
HR 3226 Czar Accountability and Reform (CZAR) Act of 2009
To provide that appropriated funds may not be used to pay for any salaries or expenses of any task force, council, or similar office which is established by or at the direction of the President and headed by an individual who has been inappropriately appointed to such position (on other than an interim basis), without the advice and consent of the Senate.
ACTION ALERT: CALL YOUR SENATORS NOW AND DEMAND THEY CO-SPONSOR THIS BILL
Did Obama Say We Should Kill the Old Folks to Save Money Last Night? By Warner Todd Huston
I am wondering when the euthanasia folks are going to start touting this one? I mean, it sure seemed to me as if the most caring, most civil, most intelligent president evah just said that healthcare could be cheaper if we don’t give old folks and the infirm the full measure of care they now get. It appeared that Obama said we should just let them die or suffer because they aren’t worth the effort. Imagine if Bush had said something like this? The left wouldn’t have hesitated to call him any manner of names.
Vote Coming to Confirm Anti-gun Radical ..article from gunowers.org
The Competitive Enterprise Institute has obtained internal EPA e-mails that show the agency willfully and recklessly disregarded scientific data that undermined the bureaucracy’s global warming zealotry. This information is especially relevant as Congress rushes to pass the cap-and-trade nightmare on Friday.