Clinton or Bush responsible for meltdown? Talk obstruction
Andrew Cuomo was the assistant secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and then secretary under President Bill Clinton from 1993 through 2001. Cuomo created 800 new HUD employees who were paid as much as $100,000 to fight against abolition of the agency. These community builders, as they were called, worked with local groups to lobby against tax cuts and to aid Democratic candidates.
Under Cuomo's leadership in 1998, HUD forced banks in Texas to lend $2.1 billion in affirmative action loans with a higher risk and higher default rate.
President Clinton touted these achievements. In 1998 he boasted, "In the 20-year history of the Community Investment Act, 85 percent-plus the money loaned out under it to poor inner-city neighborhoods has been loaned in the five years since I've been president."
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were on the path to disaster. Now Obama blames deregulation under the Bush administration for the financial meltdown, but there was none.
After Clinton, George W. Bush and Republicans tried to tighten up lending standards for which they were demonized by the Democrats. These efforts were pushed unsuccessfully throughout the Bush administration starting in April 2001.
Ranking Democrats Barney Frank and Charles Schumer led their party to block these efforts in the fall of 2003. Frank made light of Republican concerns. He said, "I think we see entities that are fundamentally sound financially and withstand some of the disaster scenarios. And even if there were a problem, the federal government doesn't bail them out. But the more pressure there is there, then the less we see in terms of affordable housing."