Boehner Calls for Countrywide Hearings

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) called for hearings on the Countrywide Financial program that gave mortgages to Sens. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Kent Conrad (D-N.D.).

Both Dodd and Conrad received mortgages through the Friends of Angelo program, named after Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo.

"Before the House moves forward on a massive housing bailout at the expense of every American taxpayer, there are significant questions that must be answered about the Friends of Angelo program and the sweetheart loans provided to key Democratic lawmakers," Boehner said in a statement. "[House Financial Services Committee] Chairman [Barney] Frank (D-Mass.) and [House] Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi (D-Calif.) should begin immediate hearings to examine the special VIP housing perks that Countrywide gave powerful congressional Democrats at the same time it was hiking mortgage rates on American families. I am also concerned by news reports suggesting that banks wrote the bailout provisions of this bill to allow them to cherry-pick the mortgages that are least likely to be repaid and dump the debt on taxpayers. Surely Democrats in Congress believe our highest responsibility is to the American people, not their campaign contributors."

Boehner also noted a report in the Washington Post revealing that banks worked with Democrats to write parts of the $300 billion housing bailout bill, which is now before the Senate.

"[D]emocrats who receive sweetheart deals from their campaign contributors shouldnt be pushing legislation forcing taxpayers to bankroll a $300 billion bailout of scam artists and speculators, and the American people have every right to demand answers if they do," Boehner said in his statement.

Download a copy of Boehner's letter to Frank here.