Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bachmann misses Television Appearance

It is common knowledge that Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN:06) has pledged to never to vote for a new tax or tax increase , as well as pledged to not pursue earmarks, and even a pledge against legislation involving climate change, but has she made a pledge not to appear on television ?

Heaven forbid that after appearing 23 times over seven weeks starting in September, I would hate to think that one minor setback on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews would stop her from appearing on the only television worth viewing … CSPAN.

On Wednesday, November 12, Bachmann’s House Committee on Financial Services held a hearing on Mortgage Modifications. Considering that former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan called the current situation “a once-in-a-century credit tsunami” one would have hoped that Congresswoman Bachmann would be there to represent Minnesota.
Sadly, it was broadcast on CSPAN and no Bachmann in attendance.
I hope that the Congresswoman has not gotten camera-shy.

Republicans were well represented by Spencer Bachus (AL-06), Tom Price (GA-06), Randy Neugebauer (TX-19), Judy Biggert (IL-13) and others.
Bachus spoke with concern not only about the foreclosure problems, but also about the automobile industry since he has two plants in his district.
But the best comments came from Steven LaTourette (OH-14) who expressed outrage at the potential tax benefits used by banks to acquire each other. “When you have a handful of people picking winning and losing banks and deciding how to spend hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money, transparency must be required,” LaTourette has stated. Describing the PNC buyout of National City Bank, “This was no ordinary bank acquisition once the government stepped in with billions of dollars. We need to shine a light on this and see if it was on the up and up.”
Further, LaTourette expressed grave concerns with the slowness in $300 billion "Hope for Homeowners" program which is intended to keep homeowners in their homes yet has only received only 42 applications in the first two weeks, a dismal fraction of the 400,000 homeowners it was intended to help. Congressman LaTourette said the current financial situation in the U.S. "is a mess."
Additionally, the New York Times has reported there is a lobbying frenzy by an army of hired guns for banks, savings and loan associations and insurers for access to the Treasury program; making citizens ponder if government is the biggest friend of corruption..

It should be pointed out that Congressman LaTourette, as Congresswoman Bachmann, voted against the bailout bill … yet his concern did not end with his vote.

And if Bachmann thought they she could skip this hearing because she had a “tough election”, that wasn’t any acceptable excuse to Congressman Paul Kanjorski (D-PA-11) who had a come-from-behind re-election victory. Kanjorski expressed Instead of placing blame, we must work together toward a solution.
In fact, there was a great degree of bi-partisan spirit by the members in attendance.

At a news briefing yesterday, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson emphasized that the consumer credit market "has for all practical purposes ground to a halt," which is "raising the cost and reducing the availability of car loans, student loans, and credit cards."

Next week, Congresswoman Bachmann has two more opportunities to participate in hearings Oversight of the bailout and aid for the auto industry . These are critical hearings and Congresswoman Bachmann would be advised to skip her announced “basic educational Israel trip”.

The election is long over but time for attention to her Congressional duties is now. Bachmann is campaigning for a seat on the House Ways and Means Committee … based on her lack of participation in Financial Service hearings (she also missed the October 21st hearing on the shadowy banking practice of credit default swaps), she has not earned it.

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