Flashback to April, when Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) attempted to add an amendment to the housing bill which would have protected homeowners facing foreclosure.
The 58-36 vote to table the amendment allowed senators to move on to less contentious amendments to the housing measure forged Wednesday by Sens. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).
Durbin’s amendment would allow judges to revise the terms of mortgages on primary residences. It is opposed by the banking lobby and most Republicans. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), for example, said earlier Thursday that he would have insisted on a 60-vote threshold for the amendment’s adoption. That all but doomed the bill’s chances in a Senate split 51-49.
But banking lobbyists cheered the tabling vote.
"This has been at the very top of our members' priority list,” [Francis] Creighton [of the Mortgage Bankers Association] said, adding that the change would have been a "terrible thing for the housing market, our customers and, yes, our members."
Francis Creighton, quoted above, has recently been promoted to Chief Lobbyist for the Mortgage Bankers Association, so I guess the industry's collapse hasn't been bad for everyone.
Joe Biden voted with Dick Durbin to keep the amendment.
Barack Obama, John McCain and Hillary Clinton were all absent on the campaign trail.
And P.S. to Democrats in the Senate. You don't get to complain about Mitch McConnell filibustering your bills until you can get at least 51 votes to back the legislation
Image originally uploaded by bbcworldservice's photostream under a Creative Commons license.