Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 7, 2010

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S SECOND VETO.... Shortly before adjourning, Congress quietly passed a housing measure, which some homeowners advocates warned would "make it more difficult to challenge improper foreclosure attempts by big mortgage processors." The provision was pushed by far-right Rep. Bob Aderholt (R-Ala.), and it's still not altogether clear how the bill managed to be approved with so little debate.

There's been some disagreement about the scope and effects of the bill, but yesterday's Reuters report alarmed consumer advocates, who said the legislation "protect bank and mortgage processors from liability for false or improperly prepared documents."

This afternoon, the White House announced this will be only the second presidential veto since Obama took office.

The Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act of 2010 was designed to remove impediments to interstate commerce. While we share this goal, we believe it is necessary to have further deliberations about the intended and unintended impact of this bill on consumer protections, including those for mortgages, before this bill can be finalized.

Notarizations are important for a large range of documents, including financial documents. As the President has made clear, consumer financial protections are incredibly important, and he has made this one of his top priorities, including signing into law the strongest consumer protections in history in the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. That is why we need to think through the intended and unintended consequences of this bill on consumer protections, especially in light of the recent developments with mortgage processors.

The authors of this bill no doubt had the best intentions in mind when trying to remove impediments to interstate commerce. We will work with them and other leaders in Congress to explore the best ways to achieve this goal going forward.

Or to rephrase the White House's reaction, "Wait, the bill may do what? We're going to make foreclosures easier? Forget it."

Ellen Bloom, the director of federal policy for Consumers Union, told Jake Tapper, "President Obama is doing the correct thing by vetoing this bill. With the flood of apparent improper foreclosures, this is no time to change the rules to weaken the safeguards of the notary process. This bill would make a bad situation worse when it comes to foreclosure fraud."

Postscript: If you're wondering, the first Obama veto came late last year, when the president "killed a short-term resolution that turned out to be unnecessary for extending defense funding."

Steve Benen 2:35 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (20)

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Comments

YAY!! for good policy.


Cue bitching and moaning at Daily Kos and Eschaton about how Obama should have forseen this with his mighty Kenyan magic eight-ball.

Posted by: fourlegsgood on October 7, 2010 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

Good move. He would have faced a shitstorm if he had signed that bill. And more importantly, it was the right thing to do.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Posted by: bdop4 on October 7, 2010 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

"it's still not altogether clear how the bill managed to be approved"

How did it get through a Democratic-controlled Congress?

Posted by: flubber on October 7, 2010 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Wait for The Hamster (Jane Hamsher) to tell us how much Obama sucks.

Oh, wait. What? Jane's wrong? No shit, Sherlock. She's wrong about 85% of the time. And **I'm** a big time liberal.

And when Dems get defeated, I'm laying it at her feet.

Posted by: MsJ on October 7, 2010 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

Oh flubber my Naive friend . The halls of congress were lined with cash , pockets were opened , cash was slipped in .
Government by the dollar , for the dollar of the dollar. Long live the corporation

Posted by: John R on October 7, 2010 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

and it's still not altogether clear how the bill managed to be approved with so little debate.

noice! What part of these paragraphs from the Reuters story is unclear to you, Steve?

The bill's approval involved invocation of a special procedure. Democratic Senator Robert Casey, shepherding last-minute legislation on behalf of the Senate leadership, had the bill taken away from the Senate Judiciary committee, which hadn't acted on it.

The full Senate then immediately passed the bill without debate, by unanimous consent.

or did you mean "not altogether clear" why the Dems in the Senate were so eager to pass this bill with no debate on a voice vote for Unanimous Consent?

Posted by: some guy on October 7, 2010 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. I went to the White House site just minutes ago, asking him to veto the bill, and now it's done.

If you guys want something else done, let me know and I'll drop him a line. I have to leave the house in half an hour, so I figure we can solve five or six problems tops though.

Posted by: Sarge on October 7, 2010 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

"it's still not altogether clear how the bill managed to be approved with so little debate."

Guess I was wrong. This Obama guy is a ballsy He-man who never gives an inch.

Political theater?

Posted by: Michael7843853 on October 7, 2010 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

11 Dimensional Chess baby, 11 Dimensional Chess.

Pass a horrible bill by voice vote so nobody can be fingered, Obama gets to veto it, and say "Hey, that's what Democrats do!" Voila, instant motivated base.

Posted by: DR on October 7, 2010 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

HuffPo has been reporting on this all day. First they said it was on Obama's desk for signature and now that he's vetoing it.

"Reuters reported that, with the help of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), "Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy pressed to have the bill rushed through the special procedure, after Leahy 'constituents' called him and pressed for passage." Previous versions of the bill have died in the Judiciary Committee after being passed by the House."

Being of a curious nature I wanted to know who voted for and against this. According to govtrack.us:

Apr 27, 2010: This bill passed in the House of Representatives by voice vote. A record of each representative’s position was not kept.

Sep 27, 2010: This bill passed in the Senate by Unanimous Consent. A record of each senator’s position was not kept.

Posted by: 3reddogs on October 7, 2010 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Obama is exercising his veto muscles in case he needs it if the Republicans take over the Congress.

Posted by: Maritza on October 7, 2010 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know where the tenthers are on this issue, but if they are principled in their defense of States' rights, then this is an opportunity for consumer advocates and those nutjobs to find common cause. Notaries are licensed by the state, and it seems that each state should have the final say regarding the acceptance in its own state of a notarial certificate made in another state by a notary licensed in that state.

Posted by: JM on October 7, 2010 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

DR '11 dimensional chess' Shouldn't that be String Chess?

Posted by: Michael7843853 on October 7, 2010 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

"And when Dems get defeated, I'm laying it at her feet."

As with all Dem cheerleaders, anything to avoid blaming the folks actually at fault. How about blaming . . . the Democrats? Or even Republicans? Rather than people who have been right on policy since Day One?

Posted by: Michael on October 7, 2010 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

"The authors of this bill no doubt had the best intentions in mind when trying to remove impediments to interstate commerce." Posted by Dan Pfeiffer on October 07, 2010 at 01:15 PM EDT, The White House Blog

Best laugh I've had all week.


"If you guys want something else done, let me know and I'll drop him a line."
Posted by: Sarge on October 7, 2010 at 3:03 PM

I always wanted a pony...

Posted by: smartalek on October 7, 2010 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't congress recessed? If so, it's a pocket veto.

Posted by: getaclue on October 7, 2010 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

MsJ actually if congress' recess is not actually a recess because of the Dems capitulation to the GOP's demand of "pro forma" sessions, then Obama's veto can be overridden. In which case, the bill will become law.

If Congress,despite holding pro forma sessions is actually nevertheless in recess for purposes of veto overriding, then Congress cannot override the veto, which would be considered a pocket veto.

However, either way leaves open the possibility that this bill will become law anyway. One, congress, as noted above, if IN session, can override within 10 days. The other, a pocket veto, would not prohibit the congress from making perfunctory modifications to the bill and sending it back to Obama after the elections, at which time he will have no difficulty signing it into law.

Posted by: getaclue on October 7, 2010 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

Don't you just love how there is 'no record' of who actually voted for the bill. That's got to be one the single lamest things I've ever heard.

Anybody who thinks the banks don't own congress, I give you exhibit 1,000 (from this year).

BTW all those people cheerleading the financial 'reform' bill from a couple of months ago and bitched that Feingold was wrong for opposing the legislation because it was little more than smoke and mirrors that didn't really do anything to prevent the banks and financial companies from screwing us all again. Take a good long look at how fast Democrats who championed that bill got this thing passed. You really think those same people didn't make certain their real constituency was protected?

I'm just saying, don't act surprised the next time the banks get a trillion plus dollars in bailouts from taxpayers.

Posted by: thorin-1 on October 7, 2010 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

Michael, I severely blame her for wanting a pony and accepting nothing less when the blue dogs siding with the goopers would stop anything from happening. Did I want a public option? Hell yes! Still do. But to actively try to derail **anything** from happening is downright stupid, as is her actively hitching about anything that does get through the layers of obstruction. She demoralizes the base more than many elected officials. And, for that, the blame rests on her if or when we suffer losses.

Getaclue, we'll have to see how it plays out, won't we?

Posted by: MsJ on October 7, 2010 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

What industry scumbag lobbyist hustled this bill to the scumbag Rep. Aderholt from the scumbag state of Alabama. This is deep, chronic corruption circa the 1890s. Why don't we have a better press corps?

Posted by: Russell Aboard M/V Sunshine on October 8, 2010 at 12:25 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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