4 House Members Scored Countrywide VIP Deals

Issa calls for ethics probe of lawmakers who received discounted loans
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2011 1:33 AM CST
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., is seen at a House Judiciary Committee hearing earlier this month.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
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(Newser) – At least four current members of the House of Representatives received discounted loans under Countrywide Financial's VIP program, according to Rep. Darrell Issa. The Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee did not name the lawmakers who received sweetened deals from the now defunct lender—whose subprime mortgages were largely to blame for the foreclosure crisis—but he recommended that they be investigated by the House Ethics Committee, Politico reports.

House ethics rules bar lawmakers from accepting loans on terms unavailable to the general public. Democratic Sens. Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad took part in Countrywide's VIP program but were cleared of wrongdoing by the Senate Ethics Committee. Issa, who subpoenaed more than 100,000 pages of documents during his probe of the VIP program, says his team is "aware of the possibility that loans with VIP benefits were conferred to other members and serviced by a separate loan processing branch." (Read more politics as usual stories.)

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