Tim Cavanaugh of Reason.com is reporting that the ranking GOP members have sent a letter to presumptive Speaker of the House, John Boehner, that purports to lend support to Spencer Bachus.
As I noted Thursday, Spencer Bachus has supported the majority of the most fiscally unsound, expensive and destructive pieces of legislation that have come before him in the past ten years -- including but not limited to Medicare Part D, the 2008 farm bill (a $300 billion million monstrosity that passed over President Bush's veto), and most importantly the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act that produced the $700 billion TARP.This is the crap that gave us $5,000,000,000,000.00 in new debt over the past four years. That more than 1/3 of our entire national debt. But, it gets worse,
Bachus is not just an out of control spender. He is directly implicated in the most important domestic failure of the last decade: the refusal to rein in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during the fight over the 2005 Federal Housing Finance Reform. This bill had the potential to impose tighter financial restrictions on Fannie and Freddie, turn off their direct line to taxpayer support, and allow the Federal Housing Finance Agency (then known as the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight) to take a much stronger role in regulating the GSEs. During negotiations over this bill, Bachus:His chief rival isn't much better. Ed Royce of California (now there's the home of some "fine" fiscal conservatives! That state just elected an entire slate of new "even MORE of the same" free spending politicians). Supported pretty much all of the above points.
...The rejection of these sensible restrictions on the GSEs meant that the House version of the bill ended up substantially weaker than the Senate version, and the bill never made it to reconciliation. By 2005 the housing bubble was already topping out, but three more years of mischief might have been avoided if Bachus and the House Democrats had been serious about regulating the GSEs -- both of which subsequently went bust and had to be rescued by Treasury. Fannie and Freddie continue to cost us billions of dollars every month in bailout money.
- opposed an amendment by Ron Paul that would have eliminated Fannie and Freddie's ability to borrow from the Treasury;
- opposed an amendment by Scott Garrett (R-NJ) to strike the increase in the Conforming Loan Limit for the GSEs;
- opposed an amendment by Former Rep. Jim Leach (R-IA) to strengthen the minimum capital requirements for Fannie and Freddie;
- and opposed an amendment by Ed Royce (R-California) authorizing the FHFA to limit the portfolios of Fannie and Freddie based on the systemic threat they posed.
But this is not the end of Bachus' trail of economic destruction. In February 2008, after the disinflation of American real estate had begun and the credit unwind was in full swing, Bachus decided that Fannie and Freddie (which at this point had only six months left to live) should drastically expand their portfolios of bad and doubtful mortgage debt. So he voted for the Recovery Rebates and Economic Stimulus for the American People Act -- a $117 billion pig that upped the GSEs' conforming loan limit to $729,750. Assuming a 20 percent down payment, this means the government was now redefining an average home as one costing close to a million dollars -- at a time when real estate values were two years into a decline that still shows no signs of ending.
If John Boehner is serious about fiscal conservatism, which many including myself doubt, the only way to dispel such doubts is to appoint men and women to chair the major committees who are serious about it. What makes this so troubling, is that the senior members of all the subcommittees are in support of Mr. Bachus.
Bloomberg, The Hill and Wall Street Journal all say deputy ranking HFSC member Randy Neugebauer (Texas) signed on, along with prospective subcommittee heads Jeb Hensarling (Texas; sucommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit), Scott Garrett (New Jersey; Capital Markets, Insurance and Government-Sponsored Enterprises), Shelly Moore Capito (West Virginia; Housing and Community Opportunity), Paul, Judy Biggert (Illinois; Oversight and Investigations) and Gary Miller (California; International Monetary Policy and Trade).Of this crew, Hensarling, Garrett, Moore Capito and Paul are to varying degrees improvements, while Miller and Biggert are stinkers.We The People need to let Mr. Boehner know that on this past Tuesday, we only voted in the GOP majority in the House because WE are serious about fiscal responsibility and reigning in the out of control spending of Congress. More of the same will not be tolerated.