Dr. Coburn Criticizes Senate for Rushing and Attempting to Ban Debate on Critical Mortgage Reform Bill


WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 15, 2007 – U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) released the following statement today regarding the Senate’s attempt to pass a complex and critical mortgage reform bill without the opportunity for debate or amendment.

“This bill will exacerbate problems in the mortgage industry by making it easier for big banks to exploit potential homeowners who can’t afford the loans for which they are applying. The solution to the mortgage crisis is fewer risky loans, not more,” Dr. Coburn said.

“It is naïve, irresponsible and reckless for the Senate to claim it can fix this national challenge by blowing a bill through the chamber without debate and without the opportunity to improve the bill through amendments. This bill was reported out of committee only two days ago and has been read by only a handful of staff and very few elected Senators,” Dr. Coburn said.

“The Senate’s growing tendency to pass critical bills without debate and without a roll-call vote is disgraceful,” Dr. Coburn added. “One reason we have an 11 percent approval rating is that we are neglecting our basic duties to read and debate the bills we consider. Between January and August of this year, only 29 of the 399 bills the Senate passed (7 percent) were subjected to a roll-call vote. This track record is beneath the dignity of the world’s greatest deliberative body.”

“While some Senators will claim passing this bill is an urgent priority, it is important to note that if Senators spent less time earmarking funds for special interest projects like Teapot Museums and First Lady Libraries we would have more time to devote to addressing the real problems we see in the mortgage industry,” Dr. Coburn said.

“Congress can relieve borrowers and homeowners by reducing the amount of money we borrow from them every day to pay for wasteful Washington spending. Families across America don’t have the luxury of loaning themselves any money when they’ve maxed out their credit. Yet, that’s what Congress did this past September when it increased the federal debt limit by nearly 10 percent, or $850 billion, from $8.965 trillion to $9.815 trillion,” Dr. Coburn said.

“Congress can take steps to reform the mortgage industry. Yet, our most important role in this area of our economy is keeping more money in the hands of potential homeowners and less money in the hands of politicians who continue to spend and borrow far beyond our means,” Dr. Coburn said.

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