On the very day the Senate passes major bank reform, we learn dozens of senators or Senate employees received VIP loans from a company hip-deep in the subprime loan mess that the bank bill fails to address.
As the top Republican member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Rep. Darrell Issa has been looking at Countrywide Financial Corp.'s VIP mortgage program. What the California lawmaker recently found is a strong appearance of impropriety:
Countrywide has made 30 cut-rate loans to senators or Senate employees. A dozen of the VIP loans were made to customers who named the office of Sen. Robert Bennett, a Utah Republican, as their workplace. The remainder went to borrowers whose place of employment was designated as "U.S. Senate" or "U.S. senator."
None of these loans with their favorable, below-market terms is available to the public.