Clinton: Protect Reputable Home LendersMarch 24, 2008 12:43 Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton proposed several remedies to the nation's home mortgage problems Monday, including one tool more often associated with Republicans than Democrats.
The New York senator proposed greater protections for lenders from possible lawsuits by investors, a variation of so-called tort reform. For years, GOP leaders have called for restrictions on what they consider unwarranted lawsuits against businesses. Democrats have often resisted them on grounds they limit injured parties' legitimate rights to redress.
"Many mortgage companies are reluctant to help families restructure their mortgages because they're afraid of being sued by the investment banks, the private equity firms and others who actually own the mortgage papers," Clinton said in what she billed as a major address on the economy at the University of Pennsylvania.
"This is the case even though writing down the value of a mortgage is often more profitable than foreclosing," she said. Clinton said she would offer legislation "to provide mortgage companies with protection against the threat of such lawsuits," but provided no further details.
Brian Deese, a Clinton economic adviser, said different categories of investors can have different interests in how a mortgage is handled. Clinton's legislation would clarify that a mortgage provider's obligations are to "investors as a whole," he said in an interview.
Clinton also called on President Bush to appoint "an emergency working group on foreclosures" to recommend new ways to confront housing finance troubles. She said the panel should be led by financial experts such as Robert Rubin, who was treasury secretary in her husband's administration, and former Federal Reserve chairmen Alan Greenspan and Paul Volcker.
Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama are campaigning heavily in Pennsylvania, which holds its presidential primary April 22 to allocate 158 delegates, the largest single prize left in the campaign season. There were 34,000 foreclosure notices issued in Pennsylvania last year, Clinton's campaign said.
Clinton said she supports pending legislation to establish an auction system for hundreds of thousands mortgages in default. Under the plan, drafted by Democratic lawmakers, lenders "could sell mortgages in bulk to banks and other buyers," Clinton said, who in turn would "restructure them to make them affordable for families, because they know the government will guarantee them once they're reworked."
Clinton Wins Ohio, Texas, Cnn ProjectsMarch 04, 2008 22:26 Sen. Hillary Clinton got her campaign back on track with projected wins in the Texas, Ohio and Rhode Island primaries.
Sen. Hillary Clinton claimed victory in Texas, Ohio and Rhode Island. Delegate-rich Texas and Ohio were considered must-wins for her campaign.
Obama had won 12 straight contests since Super Tuesday on February 5.
Obama won in Vermont.
Texas also held Democratic caucuses Tuesday, but it was too close to declare a winner.
"For everyone here in Ohio and across America who's been ever been counted out but refused to be knocked out, for everyone who has stumbled but stood right back up, and for everyone who works hard and never gives up -- this one is for you," Clinton said before supporters in Columbus.
"You know what they say," she said. "As Ohio goes, so goes the nation. Well, this nation's coming back and so is this campaign."
Obama congratulated Clinton on her victories but downplayed his losses. CNN's political team weighs in on the results »
"We know this: No matter what happens tonight, we have nearly the same delegate lead as we had this morning, and we are on our way to winning this nomination," Obama told supporters in Texas.
Sen. John McCain swept all four Republican contests on Tuesday to become his party's presumptive nominee. Read about McCain's victory
McCain won primaries in Texas, Ohio, Vermont and Rhode Island, giving him more than the 1,191 delegates needed to clinch the GOP nomination.
"I am very, very grateful and pleased to note that tonight, my friends, we have won enough delegates to claim with confidence, humility and a great sense of responsibility, that I will be the Republican nominee for president of the United States," McCain told supporters Tuesday night.
The Presidential Election - Monday, June 15, 2009