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Obama Clarifies Pocket Veto Of Controversial Bill Related To Foreclosures

First Posted: 10- 9-10 11:35 AM   |   Updated: 10- 9-10 03:07 PM

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The White House issued a statement Friday clarifying President Obama's "pocket veto" of legislation that consumer advocates worried would have made it more difficult for homeowners to fight fraudulent foreclosures.

Some have been skeptical that a pocket veto, which allows the president to kill legislation simply by not signing it when Congress is not in session, was available because the Senate has, in fact, been holding pro-forma sessions.

So instead of just not signing the bill, Obama is also sending it back to the House, making it a "protective return" veto.

"To leave no doubt that the bill is being vetoed," said Obama in a statement, "in addition to withholding my signature, I am returning H.R. 3808 to the Clerk of the House of Representatives, along with this Memorandum of Disapproval."

H.R. 3808, the Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act, passed the Senate with no public debate on Sept. 27 after Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) discharged it from the committee. The bill would require courts to recognize out-of-state notarizations and electronic notarizations. It had been passed by the House three times since 2007 but died quietly in the committee the first two times. It took everybody by surprise when it passed this time.

Many consumer advocates considered the timing suspicious, as bogus notarizations of fraudulent paperwork are at the heart of a growing scandal that has halted banks' foreclosures across the country. Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner told HuffPost it almost seemed as if the bill was intended to serve as a "trap door" for banks to escape the crisis.

Leahy's office explained that they moved the bill because of lobbying by the National Notary Association, which was effective because of Leahy's apparent soft spot for Notaries Public. In August, Leahy spoke at an association event honoring Calvin Coolidge, the 30th president of the United States, who happened to have been a Notary Public and who happened to have been from Vermont.

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Michael Robinson, the director of the Notary Association, told HuffPost on Friday that he'd only been hoping for a swift review by the Judiciary Committee. "Quite honestly it took us by surprise at the end of September when we got word it had been introduced on the floor of the Senate and was headed to the White House."

The protective return pocket veto is not without its critics. Robert Spitzer, a political science professor who's written a book on the presidential veto, calls it "plainly extra-constitutional, utterly suspect, and completely unnecessary."

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The White House issued a statement Friday clarifying President Obama's "pocket veto" of legislation that consumer advocates worried would have made it more difficult for homeowners to fight fraudulent...
The White House issued a statement Friday clarifying President Obama's "pocket veto" of legislation that consumer advocates worried would have made it more difficult for homeowners to fight fraudulent...
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Mafdet   12:17 PM on 10/09/2010
A couple days ago when I saw that Obama was vetoing this bill, I thought: We'll see. He's great about saying things like: "It has to include a public option" and then looking the other way while the opposite happens. So naturally when I saw this headline I thought the back-pedalling had begun. I hope he stays the course on this one.

This is the time he has not backed the banks on a  Read More...
Josh Gamen   0 minute ago (2:19 AM)
This past week Obama released bill that would have sped up the process in which banks go through to take back a house through foreclosure. Bank of America freezes all foreclosure sale dates to have their attorneys review the documents they have already processed. Bill is going back to Congress, we'll see what happens next!
dogisgreat   14 hours ago (12:15 PM)
Please someone explain why he doesn't simply veto it. What's wrong with this guy?!!
grk96   15 hours ago (11:50 AM)
I think everyone is missing the point. It's not just the notarization, but rather "what is being notarized." If they had legal documents in place that allowed a legal foreclosure, then notarization wouldn't be much of an issue.
cybersense   15 hours ago (11:25 AM)
Here is something you might find interesting to read. It's about problems, and solutions to eletronically digitalized notary's. You might think this boring to read, but please do if only to understand what is happening. This document, I will note, was created in 2006.
Although I understand the issue about those who want to blame this on anyone. I think it is very possible that Congress, being the very people trying to do business across state lines quite often in their type of work, would be the ones having to deal with the immense difficulty of trying to find a notary that had specific technical specifications for each state. I have had to deal with this, and although I do not like this bill for obvious reasons, It is a real fricken hassle to be in one state that accepts an unraised seal, to find a raised seal for another state.
cybersense   16 hours ago (10:11 AM)
“This legislation will help businesses around the nation by eliminating the confusion which arises when states refuse to acknowledge the integrity of documents notarized out-of-state. This issue continues to be a problem for businesses and individuals who engage in business across state lines.

Congressman Aderholt had previously introduced the legislation during the 110th and 109th Congress. (this is the 111th Congress) The bill passed the House of Representatives during those Congressional sessions but was not taken up by the Senate.

When signed into law, this legislation will require that documents be recognized in any state or federal court if the subject affects interstate commerce and the document is duly notarized by seal or if a seal is tagged to an electronic document. The bill does not preclude the challenge of a notarized document, such as a will contest.

Cited from this site:§iontree;=6,20&itemid;=1046
Dialogue   18 hours ago (8:46 AM)
Various commentators point to the "CRA," Community Reinvestment Act, as a major contributing factor in the housing debacle. It might have been a small problem, but it could hardly be considered a major contributing factor. Why? Well, if a bank is providing a mortgage to one or two individuals in an area, when 25 people were qualified, the government saw that as a problem. After the banks were told to consider the 25 that qualified, instead of just cherry picking one or two individuals, the banks decided too get even? Banks decided to create sub-prime and toxic mortgages, that allowed them to qualify not just the previous 25, but 80, 100 or 120 people in a CRA area, that's hardly what the government had in mind. Barney Frank simply asked that the 25 individuals who qualified, be considered for a mortgage, instead of turning them down because of the area in which they lived. Why should a bank say no to 25 individuals who have stellar credit scores, and jobs, simply because they happen to live in a less upscale area? The fact that banks said ""FINE," and then proceeded to provide mortgages to 100 or more people in a less upscale area, is not the fault of Barney Frank, Freddy Mae or Freddie Mac - let's all acknowledge it.
abetterplace   18 hours ago (8:22 AM)
"Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner told HuffPost it almost seemed as if the bill was intended to serve as a "trap door" for banks to escape the crisis. "

Banks are getting too many "bum raps". They are most guilty for abandoning their old guidelines of qualifying house buyers for loans, mostly by dropping the down payment requirements. They did this under pressure from liberal congressmen who wanted everyone to be able to buy a house. Remember, this began with Freddiemac and mae under government supervision. The banks do not want these houses back as they are worth much less now than when they where sold. The banks did not set the prices on these houses when they were sold, the economy did. The banks only "loaned" the money for them to be bought. They have every right to recover their money. If the buyers that promised they would pay the money back were doing so, the i's dotted and the t's crossed would be a "no issue".
tlcpro   16 hours ago (10:44 AM)
Look, the banks did this to the country. No one twisted their arms into creating MBS and toxic assets. No one forced them to loan money. Not one of them had a problem accepting TARP money either, yet millions of citizens lost their jobs and ability to repay these loans. People and banks would not be labeled predatory lenders if they had been honest with the consumers in the first place. No one forced the banks to make sub-prime loans; no one forced them to bet against the loans they made. The banks are not getting as bad a rap as they should be. They should be held accountable. The VP of the bank that loaned me money for a house is now serving a 105 year prison sentence for mortgage fraud, so you tell me how they are getting a bum rap. These people aren't losing their homes, they still go on vacation and have no trouble paying school tuition for their kids. They drive nice cars and wear designer clothes, so who is getting the bum rap? I'd say it is John Q. Public.
si1   9 hours ago (4:56 PM)
nonsense banks deserve nothing --- the whole process was a fraud until today with the phony foreclosures - the banks set the prices for the foreclosed properties at auction level - not an orderly market - - they intentionally drove the market into the ditch - with wave after wave of low ball appraisals and then sales - which then the rest of the houses on the same street were worthless
heckmepitus   19 hours ago (7:30 AM)
Great idea. Let's keep people in homes they can't afford. Let's stop the banks from getting their money back from bad mortgages and have to do yet another bank bailout. Let's stop housing prices from falling to levels people can afford. Let's stop rents from falling to levels people can afford. Let's reward people who made bad financial decisions. Let's have the government solve all our problems!!!
letsbefair2   11 hours ago (3:12 PM)
Government is the problem, most of the time anyway. I have friends with 3 kids, who are in the middle of selling their house and buying a new one. Done deals. Contracts signed. Just the closings to do. They closed on the sale of their home and were planning on closing on the purchase of their new home in just a couple weeks (which was in foreclosure). Suddenly they now can't close on the new house because the foreclosure put on hold. But they still have to get out of the house they sold. Lovely,hard-working couple with three kids, who did everything right and had a valid contract in place. Now they have no home. Thanks government. Your plans always works so well for the middle class.
smolensk-lies   23 hours ago (3:25 AM)
he will be punished most severely from his angry masters over this
Jon Lere   23 hours ago (3:17 AM)
Leahy's office explained that they moved the bill because of lobbying by the National Notary Association, which was effective because of Leahy's apparent soft spot for Notaries Public.
Talk about proof that lobbyists run this country. They get to decide if our ELECTED reps move a bill in Congress? Wow.
TheyAllSuck   18 hours ago (8:06 AM)
My problem isn't with Leahy because technically bills are "supposed" to leave committee once procedure is completed in the committee. (This is particularly the case with supposedly "non-partisan" committees like finance and judiciary.) Bad bills "can" leave committee because they're expected to "die" after a FORMAL vote. What has me flabbergast was HOW did the bill PASS without a FORMAL vote?!?! Why isn't Reid being rotisseried in a spit as we speak?
Radicalreader   17 hours ago (9:19 AM)
The biggest problem is we are surprised when we hear that lobbyist are running congress. Of course they are. They are the true constituents.
tlcpro   16 hours ago (10:47 AM)
It is sickening!
ProgressAlwaysHappens   23 hours ago (3:08 AM)
Obama is in the pocket of the real rulers. Obama is a center right corporatist. He is not your friend. He is not looking out for you. He is not your President. He is the President of America Inc. and even that position is empty of power. Obama is a puppet. The only way to make change happen is from the ground up!!! Do not give him an excuse to not get things done. Increase the vote. Increase the mandate for the democrats. Make the republicans lose even more seats thus giving an even greater majority to the Democrats. Force them to make change!!!!!!
dogisgreat   14 hours ago (12:28 PM)
Much truth in your post. Unfortunately the task of true political reform is much greater than any of the remedies you describe. If we continue to swap one right wing corporatist party for the other nothing will ever change. The constitutional structure has been further rotted by the Citizens United decision. American is well on its way to corporate f@$©1$m, and voting for one f@$©1$t or the other isn't going to change much.
johnsonc20   01:06 AM on 10/10/2010
So, just a plain old veto wouldn't do? Why does Obama always have to do things in the most passive way possible, when he goes against corporate interests? And what was Senator Leahy thinking? At least Obama had the sense to stop it. It stinks to high heaven.
fishin4u   12:16 AM on 10/10/2010
A perfect match: pocket veto & a pocket fisherman, both made by Ronco.............................
johnsonc20   01:07 AM on 10/10/2010
It sounds like more "pocket pool" in the White House.
GringaInMexico   12:12 AM on 10/10/2010
The Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act doesn't sound like it even elates to the foreclosure issue. So, I can understand how this might have gone through the House and Senate without anyone understanding what was up. I am elated that it was caught before Obama signed it, however it might have been revealed what was really at stake (I'd be interested to know).

I called the White House on Thursday and BEGGED them to make sure that they not rely on a simple pocket veto, because the Senate is still technically in session. The person who took my call didn't really seem to understand my concern, but at last said he was sure the best legal minds would know the best course. I replied that I hoped he was correct, but still begged that he not simply record my call as supporting the pocket veto, and relay up the chain that more action than a pocket veto was in order. I am elated that Obama made this brilliant move. Thank you, Mr. President!!

The lesson that Democrats in the House and Senate need to take away from this is that they must be much more skeptical of ALL bills that Republicans introduce, especially those Democrats who co-sponsor a Republican-sponsored bill. They should NEVER trust Republicans on ANYTHING. I sure don't!
karen1p   11:29 PM on 10/09/2010
What people aren't catching in this "paperwork foreclosure-gate", is that this cover-up of fraudulent documents is covering up the REAL FRAUD.

If you tell a big lie, you ususally get caught in the lie of the cover-up......why don't you ask Nixon, I'm pretty sure he'll tell you that it's the cover-up is where they'll catch you.

Someone in the MSM needs to report on the REAL FRAUD NOW, please.
grk96   14 hours ago (11:54 AM)
I agree, I think. The real fraud is that everyone's loan documents are bad and the banks are trying to run and hide from another self inflicted problem. Consumer demand would sure increase if banks had to start eating some of their own losses instead of callously crashing the entire economy and real estate market.

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