White House Vs. Senate GOP Over Housing Bill

Apr 8, 2008 11:12am

ABC’s Z. Byron Wolf reports from Capitol Hill: Republican senators returned from Spring Break with an earful on housing woes and are working with Democrats to push a bill through in record time that would  give aid to communities, lenders and homebuilders and provide more counseling for borrowers at risk of foreclosure.

Moments ago senators invoked cloture with an emphatic vote of 92-6.

But, apparently, no one looped in the White House.

In her opening statement at today’s White House briefing,  Spokeswoman Dana Perino gave the bill an emphatic thumbs down, saying it would be counterproductive, do more harm than good, and not be supported by the President.

"The bill will likely do more harm than good by bailing out lenders and speculators, and passing on costs to other Americans who play by the rules and honor their mortgage debt obligations."

And if that’s not enough evidence that Republicans aren’t on the same page on the housing bill, nobody told Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell the White House didn’t like the bill.

Asked by a reporter about Perino’s comments, McConnell said, "You’re telling me something I was unaware of.  It was unclear that the White House had a stated position yet on this bill. 

"They wouldn’t support it," the reporter followed up.

"Yes.  Well, we’ll see how the Senate feels about it at 2:15," McConnell said.

The Senate felt good about it, it seems, and the bill moved another step toward passage.

Perino, for her part, said it didn’t really matter if the White House supported the bill or not since whatever the Senate passes will meet stiff resistance in the House, where the Democrats in charge have ideas the White House would find even more objectionable than the Senate’s.

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