Tag Archives: Democrat

housing.prices

Bill aims to create new housing-loan structure

The top Democrat on the U.S. House Financial Services Committee on Thursday introduced a draft proposal to abolish Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and create a new lender-owned cooperative that would issue government-backed loans.

Representative Maxine Waters of California outlined a measure that challenges the more conservative approach of the panel’s chairman. Texas Republican Jeb Hensarling’s proposal would sharply reduce the government’s role in housing finance.

The counterproposal is unlikely to gain broad support in the Republican-led House.

“Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s return to profitability and repayment of taxpayer dollars has led some to rightly speculate whether (they) need any reform at all,” Waters said in a statement. “I am hopeful that this legislation will continue to move the conversation on housing finance reform forward.”

The House bill maintains a clear government role is needed to sustain the popular 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage. The framework takes a similar approach to bipartisan measures already introduced in the Senate.

The most significant piece of housing finance legislation was introduced earlier this month by the Democratic chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Tim Johnson, and the panel’s top Republican, Mike Crapo.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two leading sources of U.S. mortgage funds, were seized by the government during the financial crisis in 2008 and propped up with $187.5 billion in taxpayer funds to keep them solvent.

By the end of March the companies will have sent the Treasury $202.9 billion in dividends.

Fannie and Freddie ensure the mortgage market stays liquid by buying loans from lenders and repackaging them as securities that they sell to investors with a guarantee.

The House plan written by Waters includes a government guarantee for home loans and creates a lender-owned cooperative that will issue mortgage-backed securities eligible to receive federal insurance. This structure would replace Fannie and Freddie, which would be liquidated over a five-year period.

It creates an explicit government guarantee, paid for by the industry and used to capitalize an insurance fund that is tapped in times of financial crisis.

The plan also would give small banks direct access to the financing for their home loans and ensure they are not shut out by larger competitors. It provides sources of funding for affordable housing.

With midterm elections approaching in November, House and Senate lawmakers are expected to turn to the campaign trail within a few months, leaving little time to deal with the complex issue of revamping the U.S. housing finance system.

Kyrsten Sinema

Sinema wins Arizona congressional seat

Former Democratic state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has been elected to represent a new Phoenix-area congressional district, emerging victorious after a bitterly fought race that featured millions of dollars in attack ads.

Sinema becomes the first openly bisexual member of Congress. Her victory came in a year when three states approved gay marriage, and at least five openly gay Democrats were elected to House seats. A Wisconsin congresswoman also became the first openly gay person elected to the Senate.

Sinema had a narrow lead on election night that made the race too close to call. But she slowly improved that advantage as more ballots were tallied in recent days, and now has a nearly 6,000-vote edge that is too much for Republican Vernon Parker to overcome.

Sinema, 36, was on an airplane to Washington on Monday for freshman orientation and not immediately available to comment on her victory.

During the race, Parker, who took the national stage briefly in September when he gave the GOP weekly address, was criticized by Democrats as a tea party radical who would hurt children by cutting the federal education department.

Republicans countered saying Sinema was too liberal for the newly created district and doesn’t understand stay-at-home moms.

One other congressional race remains undecided in Arizona. Rep. Ron Barber, the hand-picked successor to Gabrielle Giffords, had a lead of a few hundred votes over Republican Martha McSally in the Tucson-area district.

The Sinema victory ensures that Democrats will gain at least one seat in the Arizona congressional delegation.

Republicans entered the election with a 5-3 advantage, and the new census added a ninth seat in the state. The delegation is now split 4-4, with the Barber-McSally race still up for grabs.

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Barber ahead again, Sinema lead grows

Two Arizona congressional races remained too close to call Sunday.

The hand-picked successor of former Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was ahead again in his race to win a full term in Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District.

Results posted Sunday show Democrat Ron Barber pulling ahead of Republican Martha McSally by more than 300 votes out of more than 250,000 cast in the 2nd Congressional District race. The district covers parts of Pima and all of Cochise County. Pima County expects no vote tallies Sunday and Cochise County officials were unavailable.

Democrat Kyrsten Sinema has seen her lead over Republican Vernon Parker in the Phoenix-area’s 9th District seat widen to more than 5,700 votes.

Maricopa County still has hundreds of thousands of early and provisional ballots to count. Pima County has about 33,000 to count.

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Arizona congressional races too close to call

Arizona’s three competitive congressional races were too close to call early Wednesday, including the Tucson-centered seat Rep. Ron Barber won in June to replace his former boss, Gabrielle Giffords.

Barber saw his small lead against Republican Martha McSally in the 2nd District disappear just before midnight, with McSally taking a tiny lead.

“We knew it was going to be close and this is exactly what we expected,” she said late Tuesday.

Barber reminded supporters that Giffords’ narrow 2010 win over Republican Jesse Kelly also wasn’t known for several days.

“We’ve got a little bit further to go,” he said. “It’s going to be tomorrow or the day after that.”

Both Giffords and Barber were wounded in January 2011 when a gunman opened fire at a “Congress on Your Corner” event for the then-congresswoman and her constituents. Eleven others also were wounded and six people were killed.

Giffords stepped down from Congress earlier this year to focus on her recovery. Barber beat Kelly in the June special election to replace her.

Kelly chose not to make a third run this fall. McSally, a retired Air Force fighter pilot, won the GOP nomination in August and sought to persuade some of the women and independents who swung to Barber in the special election.

“We knew it was going to be close and this is exactly what we expected,” she said late Tuesday.

In the new Phoenix-area 9th District, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema and Republican Vernon Parker were in a near dead heat.

Both Parker and Sinema acknowledged the wait would be long, and Parker urged his supporters to be patient because thousands of ballots remained uncounted.

“I am telling you all to hang in there,” Parker told supporters in Phoenix. “We will win this thing. I guarantee you.”

Republicans have a slight registration advantage in the district, which includes much of Tempe and parts of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Mesa and Chandler. But both parties’ totals are exceeded by independents, and many believe it leans Democratic.

Sinema told supporters there was good reason to be optimistic.

“Right now we’re going to keep our heads high, take a deep breath and pray for every vote to be counted in this election,” she said.

In northeastern Arizona’s 1st District, Republican Jonathan Paton’s slight lead over Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick diminished as Tuesday night wore on.

Kirkpatrick told supporters she was waiting for results from the Navajo Nation and other tribal areas that she hopes will put her back on top. The district runs from Flagstaff through eastern Arizona counties and then west into parts of Pinal County.

“Our race is looking good, but we’re not going to know for quite a while,” she said.

Depending on the outcome, Democrats could end up with a majority of the delegation or Republicans could hold on or add to their current 5-3 majority. The state earned a ninth seat after the 2010 Census and will fill it for the first time in November.

Voters in six districts chose their representatives along the expected 4-2 party split in favor of Republicans.

Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva won re-election in the 3rd District, freshman GOP Rep. Paul Gosar easily won in the 4th District and former Republican Rep. Matt Salmon coasted to victory in the 5th.

Republican Reps. David Schweikert and Trent Franks were re-elected in the 6th and 8th districts while Democratic Rep. Ed Pastor cruised in the 7th District.

Podcast: GoVote Aims To Change Voter Turn Out

Podcast: GoVote Aims To Change Voter Turn Out

Voter turn-out is a constant issue with every political campaign, but GoVote.com is looking to do something to change that.

By educating its visitors on a local and national level, GoVote looks to positively impact the voter turnout for the 2012 presidential elections.

While based in Arizona, GoVote has contributors to the website from all over the country; they are also made up of contributors from all over the political spectrum.

By doing this, GoVote aims to continue to educate its visitors in an unbiased manner.

But if you want to hear some of this from television or radio, GoVote can provide you with that as well. The website hosts links to all local and national media outlets (columnists, blogs, television and radio), so visitors can search through all their possible sources of information.

Another feature of GoVote that is new to a politically-charged website is its ad campaign. Its “innovative platform for political ad spending” allows everyday citizens like you or me to post ads on their website in favor or against any certain candidate. And once you do so, your ad is personally sent to the candidate to see.

Constantly growing, GoVote currently has about 2,000 members and was able to raise $1 million from investors within its first year.

GoVote.com PodcastI had the privilege of speaking with Brad Anderson, GoVote’s director of state public relations, for this week’s new podcast. Anderson was the former intern to former U.S. Senator Robert Bennett and has worked on multiple campaigns across the country as well.

GoVote is free to sign up for, and you are able to create your own personal page to bookmark the information you want to have handily available.

Hit play below to tune into this week’s daily podcast series.