Mortgage Crisis Sparks GOP Defections
Lawmakers back Dem bills as constituents lose homes
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2008 7:47 PM CST
Republican Ohio Rep. Steve Chabot recently defied party leaders and the White House by co-writing a bill to let bankruptcy judges re-write mortgages.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – GOP lawmakers are breaking ranks over the housing crisis as they see constituents suffering foreclosures, Politico reports. Ohio Rep. Steve Chabot, the owner of a 97.5% lifetime American Conservative Union rating, recently snubbed party leaders and the White House by co-writing a bill to let bankruptcy judges re-write mortgages. Chabot sees foreclose blight "every day" in his district, one lobbyist said.

Other GOP deserters have pushed for jobless benefits in the stimulus package. Another 64 recently jumped ship to back a bill that blocks tax lending. GOP Texas lawmaker Lamar Smith put it this way: “It’s OK for Republicans to do what they need to for their districts. There’s no hard feelings.” But Chabot said some GOP leaders "aggressively" opposed his siding with the Democrats.