tv U.S. Senate CSPAN May 11, 2010 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT
prepared to offer an amendment an take a very short time agreement. mr. reid: and senator klobuchar. a senator: and i believe senator bennett, after the judges. mr. dodd: we don't need a vote on that. it's a bipartisan amendment. mr. mcconnell: and senator corker. mr. dodd: 30 minutes equally divided, i think for both amendments. mr. reid: could we do the judges now? the presiding officer: is there further debate on the nominations? if not, the question is on the nominations en bloc. all those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the nominations are confirmed. under the previous order, the motions to reconsider are considered made and laid on the table, the president will be immediately notified of the senate's action and the senate will resume legislative session.
mr. dodd: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. dodd: i would ask concept that the senator from colorado -- let me read this. the presiding officer: can we have order in the senate. mr. dodd: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. dodd: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the following be the next amendments in order: senator bennett of colorado, amendment 3928, to be followed by the corker amendme amendment, number corker's number 3955, and the merkley-klobuchar amendment 3552, side-by-side to the cork hcorkeramendment. that when the senate resumes consideration of the bill, senator bennett of colorado be recognized to call up his amendment, that after his statement, the amendment be set ai'd anaside, and senator corkee recognized to call up his amendment, and that immediately after reporting of the number,
senator merkley and klobuchar be recognized to call up their amendment. mr. shelby: reserving the right to object. i will not object. i just want to ask the distinguished chairman. after the corker amendment is disposed of, is it possible to have -- bring up the klobucha klobuchar-hutchison amendment and let them debate and vote tomorrow? mr. dodd: i would just say in response to my colleague, we have the -- after the corker-merkley, there's a side-by-side on senator corker and senator merkley, but after, that i'd be happy to set a time, either debate this evening and -- mr. shelby: vote in the morning. mr. dodd: however you want to do it will be fine with me. mr. shelby: can we agree on it. have a vote at what time in the morning? mrs. hutchison: could the vote be at 9:30 in the morning? mr. dodd: you have to talk to the leadership about that.
mr. shelby: could they vote tonight? mr. dodd: the only thing i'm worried about is there's an obligation we have this evening and we're getting a little pressed and i want to be careful about asking members to hang around when we all have an obligation to meet, all 100 of us. and so i'd suggest that we enter an agreement if we can and then there may be -- i'm hopeful this can be worked out but there may be a side-by-side. i'll leave that door open a little bit. i would certainly be agreeable to setting a time certain tonight. preferably tonight. we can debate tonight and vote in the morning. if we could just say that maybe an hour after we come in or half an hour after we come in to make sure the leadership is fine with that. i just don't don't want to be setting aside what the leadership needs in the morning. mrs. hutc hutchison: well, mr. president, we could certainly have 30 minutes equally divided on the hutchison-klobuchar amendment, and do we agree to vote 30
minutes after we come? , whatever timwe -- after we come in, whatever time that is? mr.ed toedmr. dodd: let me say y colleague from texas, we'll work this out. why don't we get to the vote here and we'll take care of it. mrs. hutchison: thank you. the presiding officer: without objection, the pending request is agreed to. mr. dodd: so the senator from colorado? the presiding officer: the senator from colorado. mr. bennet: thank you, mr. president. i'd ask to reserve two minutes for senator tester from montana. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. bennet: mr. president, as i mentioned earlier this week, we have before us an important opportunity to safeguard our economy from the conditions that drove our country into -- the presiding officer: can we please have order in the senate. take your conversations off the floor. the senator from colorado. mr. bennet: thank you, mr. president. to safeguard our economy from the conditions that drove our country into this catastrophic financial meltdown. the wall street reform bill we have before us takes critically
important steps forward, helping to stabilize and safeguard our financial institutions, our financial system for consumers and businesses alike. but we should not stop here. this debate must be about making the underlying bill better. and i rise today to suggest one substantial way that we can rebuild the credibility of our financial system, save taxpayers' billions of dollars -- taxpayers billions of dollars and finally move toned the tarp. mr. president, i have an amendment at the desk number 3928 and i'd like to call up that amendment and ask consent to add senator brown of massachusetts as a cosponsor. the presiding officer: without objection, the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from colorado, mr. bennet, for himself and others, proposes an amendment numbered 3928 to amendment numbered 3739. mr. bennet: mr. president, my amendment is based on bipartisan legislation i introduced earlier this congress called "the pay it
back act." i was greatly encouraged at that time by the broad bipartisan support in this body for winding down the tarp, getting serious about deficit reduction, and spurring our economy back to health. as i talk with coloradans all across my state, i hear the same concerns again and again. people are deeply worried about the economy. they worry about jobs, and they worry about our rising federal deficit. but mostly they just want a fair shake, a chance to achieve their own vision of success through hard work. that's why they don't understand the behavior of some of our largest financial institutions. they don't understand how -- mr. dodd: the senator from colorado deserves to be heard. the presiding officer: the senate will be in orderment -- in order. the senator from colorado. mr. bennet: thank you, mr. president. that's why they don't understand the behavior of some of our largest financial institutions. they don't understand how these behemoths could have made bad bets, lose billions of dollars and then be bailed out by the
federal government. that just doesn't make sense to most people in colorado and it certainly doesn't make sense to anybody running a business. this pay-it-back amendment takes a big step forward in our effort to wind down and eventually end the tarp. it prevents further government spending, recaptures taxpayers' investments in financial institutions, and ensures that repaid funds are used for deficit reduction. it does this in a couple of wa ways. first, it reduces the tarp's authority by about $150 billion which will ensure that unused tarp funds are not used for new government spending. mr. president, chairman dodd's bill sends a strong message to wall street and our broader markets that there is no longer an implicit guarantee of government support for excessive and sloppy risk taking. this amendment reinforces this important principle by reducing tarp's authority. in short, it begins to wind down the tarp and ensures that the government doesn't use the excess funding for new spending
initiatives. it's a commonsense way forward for a program whose time has come and thankfully is almost gone. but that's not enough. as we wind down tarp, we need to make sure that taxpayers realize a fair return on their investment. that's why the second element of the pay-it-back act amendment is that it takes captured repaid tarp funds and applies those funds to deficit reduction. it does this by severely restricting tarp's revolving door of credit. although some companies have already repaid the money they received, tarp currently allows the treasury to keep $700 billion -- quote -- "outstanding at any one time." mr. president, let me make this clear. the treasury has already received about $180 billion in repaid funds from banks that are now in a position to repay the taxpayer, but right now treasury can turn around and lend that money to some other financial institution. it can use our money again and
again. and since the tarp money is borrowed against our kids and grandkids' future, that's really using their money again and again and again. i can tell you for sure, mr. president, that my daughters don't want to be stuck footing the bill for keeping the tarp around even one day longer than we have to. and by supporting my amendment, this body can move force fully toward end -- forcefully toward ending the tarp and restoring fiscal sanity. the amendment also creates a sunset for unused recovery act funds, any funds not obligated by the federal government by december 31, 2012, will be returned to the treasury to pay down the national deficit. congress passed the recovery act to jolt our struggling economy back to life and help create and save jobs now. yet if funds have not been used by the end of 2012, can we really say they've been used to ease our current recession? the taxpayers disoarve see stimulus -- deserve to see
stimulus funds used for real stimulus. if not, it should be used to pay back our debt. it sets a schedule for getting government out of owning business. and it lets excessive risk takers know that washington no longer provides a backstop for greed, overleveraging, and irresponsible behavior. they must know they do so without the tarp, without money from main street to bail them out any longer. in short, mr. president, it's time for this assistance to come to a responsible end. at the heart of this wall street reform bill san effort to -- bill is an effort to prevent future bailouts so let's start by finally winding dow the biggt bailout of them all and making sure taxpayers get the biggest return their money. i thank my colleagues who are cosponsors of the bill and i'd ask my colleagues here to support this important amendment. i want to thank chairman dodd and lincoln and the ranking members of the banking and agriculture committees for their hard work to bring wall street
reform to the floor. and i know the senator from montana wants to take a couple of minutes, but i will say this. americans have been watching the news in europe this week and they're seeing what's happening in greece and they're seeing what's happening in the rest of europe. and if we don't think that's the canary in the coal mine for us, we do that on the our peril. this bill will not solve our deficit problem, it will not solve our debt problem, but it takes a stand that says that we are not going to leave a legacy of $12 trillion behind for our kids and our grandkids. ask with that, i yield the floor. mr. tester: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from montana. mr. tester: mr. president, i rise today to speak in strong support of senator bennet's amendment to begin winding down wall street bailout once and for all. mr. president, i also to want express my appreciation for senator bennet's effectiveness,s his stick-to-itiveness of working on this for some time but was able to get this through. i think this is a very, very important amendment. as senator bennet said, it's not going to solve our debt problems but it certainly is a step in
the right direction and i appreciate his vision and his leadership. mr. president, montanans were disgusted by the reckless actions of the big, greedy wall street banks who brought this country to the brink of another depression. i voted against the bailout of wall street and the u.s. auto industry because i thought taxpayers were getting a raw deal and i don't believe in bailouts. why? because whether you're a family farmer or a hot-shot executive, the opportunity that allows us to fail is the same opportunity that allows us to succeed. and america's taxpayers, main street small businesses and working families should never have to pay for the sins of wall street. that is why i'm pleased to join senator bennet on this amendment to ensure that we get the maximum value for the taxpayer dollars spent through the tarp bailout. like i said, i opposed the bailout then and i oppose it now, but at a minimum, we should recapture taxpayer investments in unused recovery act funds to pay down the debt. this amendment not only achieves that but also begins to wind down tarp by reducing its authority by over $190 billion.
and it prevents the treasury from redirecting funds for other purposes. the amendment would also establish a sunset for unused recovery act funds and improve oversight of unused funds. additionally, it wean sure that the proceed -- it would assure that the proceeds from taxpayer investments in fannie and freddie are used to pay down the debt. we have a commitment to the american people to spend their hard-earned money as wisely as we would spend our own. our national debt is something both sprearts ignored for far too long, mr. president. how do we get our arms around it? it's going to take smart and tough decisions. it's going to take working together, and it's going to take rebuilding our economy by creating new jobs and opportunities, not taxpayer-funded bailouts. this amendment will get things back on track to return taxpayer dollars and to begin paying down debt that we have inherited. once again, i want to thank senator bennet for his leadership. and with that, mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. dodd: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. dodd: mr. president, very briefly. i want to to commend our
colleague -- mr. president, the senate's not in order. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. if senators could take their conversations out of the well and into the cloakrooms. the senator from connecticut. many dodd dodd:mr. dodd: mr. prt of all i want to commend our colleague from colorado for, one, reaching out. this amendment is authored by the senator from colorado and he's attracted good bipartisan support from senator tester, senator isakson, senator klobuchar, senator beggish, senator la -- begich, senator lemieux, senator mark udall and exactly how this ought to be done. so i commend him for that. but the substance of the amendment was also critically important. he's worked with treasury to ensure we're responsibly winding down the tarp. to use senator bennet's words -- quote -- "to get the government out of the business of owning business." i think all of us can agree with that and commend him for this amendment. the amendment also ensures that unused funds are used to pay down the deficit. and again, i think we've had a lot of talk about fiscal
responsibility and watching what's happening in iewrp europd other countries and knowing that fiscal problems are a lot of the root cause of what they're going through today, this amendment actually uses the resources for deficit reduction. i think awf of us applaud his -- all of us applaud his leadership on this again, there are signs our economy is recovering. in the last months alone -- the last three months of 2010, our economy added roughly 187,000 jobs a month. last year, 290,000 jobs. which is the largest number in over four yearsmen compare that to 2009 when we were losing 750,000 abc a month. in the first quarter the economy grew 2%, a swing upwards of nearly 10 for in one year. something many economists say is largely due to the recovery act. just over a year ago the economy was shrinking about 6% on an annual basis. so, mr. president, i think this amendment is tremendously
valuable in this bill. we've all had discussions about this, but our colleague from georgia, senator isakson, again, senator lemieux, senator tester and the leadership of mike bennet have brought us to this point i thank him immensely. i thank all of our colleagues for this. i would be prepared, mr. president -- unless someone objects dosh have a voice vote on the bennet amendment, so we could move to finalizing how we're going to deal with the corker amendment and the other issues that are before us. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. shelby: mr. president, we have no objection to the bennet amendment. the presiding officer: is there further debate? if not, the question is on the amendment. all those in favor say aye. all those opposed, say no. the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. without objection. mr. corker: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from ten fen. mr. corker: mr. president, i'd like to call up amendment numbered 3955. the presiding officer: the
clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from tennessee, mr. corker, for him send a oh, propose an amendment numbered 395 to amendment number 3739. mr. corker: i move to dispense with the reading, mr. president. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. corker: minding is we have about 30 minutes on each side, is that correct, on this amendment? 30 minutes on this, 30 minutes on merkley, is that correct? the presiding officer: there is no order in effect. mr. corker: no order in effect. okay. senator isakson, senator gregg, and senator shelby wanted to speak on our side. mr. dodd: technically there's no time agreement? mr. corker: i will be very brief. mr. gregg: i would ask unanimous consent that after senator corker finishes his remarks, senator isakson be recognized and that i be recognized and -- senator shelby wants to be recognized. he should be recognized before
senator isakson or myself. mr. dodd: a member on this side somewhere in the midst of all of this wants to be heard as well. mr. gregg: that would be totally reasonable. mr. corker: i wonder, though -- mr. dodd: not a very sophisticated request. mr. corker: if we could move along on our side -- mr. dodd: move along. mr. corker: it sound like there was no objection, mr. president. the presiding officer: is there objection to the sequence that the senator from -- mr. corker: my understanding is jugs to recalibrate, senator shelby, senator isakson, senator gregg, and then anybody else on our side using the remaining 30 minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. perfect. mr. corker: thank you. mr. president, you know, the dodd bill attempts to deal with orderly liquidation. i know there's been discussions about some of the pros and cons there. the derivatives title -- my sense is there may be a chance that may work out well. i think it is an -- we've overly
dealt with consumer protection and hope that somehow in this body we'll bring that back into balance, but, mr. president, this bill glaringly does not deal with some of the core issues of this last crisis. we just voted on g.s.e., an amendment that would have dealt with that over the next couple of years in a way that doesn't prescribe exactly a solution but makes sure we dealt with it. we just voted it down. and, mr. president, even more glaringly, the dodd bill does not deal with the essence of what created this last crisis. at the base of this crisis an inverted pyramid was the issue of the fact that we had a lot of loans in this country that were written that should have never been written. those loans were done by companies that were leveraged 30, 40, 50 to one and then $600 trillion worth of notional value of these loans that should have never been written were spread across the world and that in essence, brought down our financial system. so, mr. president, it seems to me that if we're going to do a
financial regulation bill, we ought to at least deal with the core issue, which was very poor underwriting. and so i've offered an amendment -- i know there's going to be a side-by-side. i might add that the side-by-side -- and i want to make sure that people on my side know this -- let the consumer -- lets the consumer protection agency deal with underwriting, whicwhich is pretty incredible o me. it seems to me that what we want to ensure that is the underwriting does not undermine the safety and soundness of our financial institutions and, therefore, should be dealt with by our regulators. so this amendment is very simple. it does some things that have been very basic to make our country strong, as it relates to residential lending. and here's what it does: is it stobs that there will be a minute -- it establishes that there will be a minimum of 5% down payment. if i was left to my own accord, i might do something more stringent than that. it causes any loan that's written at above an 80%
loan-to-value to have private mortgage insurance. it causes the person's income -- it is actually requesting this loan to be fully documented, including credit history and employment history. it seems, mr. president, that this is something that at a minimum -- at a minimum -- in this country we'd like to see happen as it relates to residential lending. and then, there has to be a method for determining the borrower's ability to repay -- a no-brainer, something very basic -- including consideration of their debt-to-income ratio. mr. president, those four simple things are put into law so that we do not have the same type of underwriting problems that we just had with this last -- with this last episode. this does not apply to the v.a. this is -- the v.a. is an entitlement, something that we have given to those who serve in our country. it does not apply to rural housing. regulators have to update the
standards no less than every five years. for those people who may be concerned about organizations like habitat for humanity and others who use sweat equity and actually don't use money down this gives the regulators the ability to exempt nonprofit organizations that meet certain criteria on a case-by-case basis. so if there's a nonprofit in your community that is involved in allowing people to create sweat equity for housing, they would not be -- they would not be hurt. this requires reviewed exemptions every two years. and it prohibits an exemption going to organizations that are prohibited from receiving federal funding. we know of some of those. this also requires -- this also requires a study of f.h.a. to make sure that their underwriting standards are intact. mr. president, the way the dodd bill addresses underwriting, it deals with something called
"risk retention" on securitizations. i think most people realize that that is a flawed model. it has nothing to do with the loans underneath those securities. i think chairman dodd is even trying to find a better solution. so this bill also strikes the 5% retention that most people in this room think is going to actually shut down the securitization process and make less credit available, especially in the commercial areas. so this instead puts in place a study so that we can actually determine the best way to look at securitizations and know what type of risk retention should be in place. i urge all my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to do something that is real, that is substantive, that gets at the heart of this issue, that actually causes us to put in law proper underwriting standards. i can't imagine there's many people in america that don't think this, at a minimum, ought to be done as part of
underwriting home mortgages. mr. president, i thank you for the tiesm i yield -- i yield time now to the senator from alabama. he may not be here, so i will divert and yield to senator isakson from georgia. mr. isakson: i thank the chair and i thank the senator from tennessee. i want to commend the senator from tennessee, who has worked tirelessly for months on this legislation, but in particular, he has worked tirelessly on this particular amendment. and i want to rise and try to make my point as strongly as i can. this body, i know, always wants to do the right thing. we want to address the concerns that made the market collapse two years ago or begin to collapse two years ago. we want to restore confidence in real estate finance. we want to bring back the vibrant housing industry. wet don't want to reincar nate -- we don't wajts to reincar
nate subprime loans. we ought to do one simple thing today. we ought to learn from history. i want to give everybody a small history lesson. the underlying bill answers the question of better underwriting by putting risk retention as a requirement on a newly originated mortgage. risk retention of 5%. mr. president, the tier-one minimum capital requirement after nationally chartered bank is 8%. you going to tell me the banks of america are going to reserve another 5% against the mortgages they originate? no, they're just not going to originate mortgages whatsoever. secondly, risk retention is no insurance for a better mortgage being -- having been made. the fact of the matter is, in the late-1980's, the americans savings and loan industry, which was chartered for the purpose of financing american homes, they went under and they had 100% risk retention. what causes bad lending is bad underwriting. risk retention has nothing to do with it, if you have bad
underwriting or, as we had in the late-2007, 2008, 2009, no underwriting at all. so, first of all, senator corker's amendment is an outstanding amendment that strikes at the heart of the problem that got us here. while at the same time affording the opportunity for the american finance industry to bring back competitive mortgage lending. if it's not f.h.a. and it's not v.a. and it's not a fannie mae or freddie mac loan right now, you aren't getting one. there's no standard. this brings us back to a standard of underwriting that's right. it recognizes that if somebody has a job, the ability to pay, reasonable credit, and has some skin in the game, that they'll pay that loan back. you know, historically, mr. president, the default rate on the mortgage industry in the united states of america outside the last three years was around 1.2% to 4%. -- 1.2% to 1.4%. very little, probably the highest -- best risk investment
that an investor could make. when the underwriting failed, we got into the exotic instruments, when congress told fannie and freddie to make affordable loans and they ended up buying subprime loans, the genie got out of the bottle and everybody failed. i want to say to the body, if we let this bill pass with risk retention in it, thinking we've done something, the only thing we will have accomplished is a total absence of mortgage money for the american home buyer and the american real estate industry. and that's a sad misstaifnlgt you know, facts are stubborn things. if a guy has a job, good credit, and puts a downpairntle he'll repay his loan. if he doesn't, he might not. let's go back to the roots that got us where we were as -- where we're as a great country. let's restore homeownership and the ability to finance it but let's recognize the weakness was in underwriting. it was not in the retained risk of the originator. i commend senator corker, senator shelby, senator grerg, senator lemieux and histories
who have worked on this issue. this amendment fails, then this entire piece of legislation fails in meeting the standard is it set upon itself. that would be a tragedy and a mistake for the united states of america. i yield to the distinguished senator from new hampshire. the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. mr. gregg: i would reserve my right to the floor here for the senator from michigan to make a unanimous consent request. mr. levin: would the senator yield for a a unanimous consent request? mr. gregg: yes. mr. levin: i thank my friend. i would ask unanimous consent that a statement of mine, an introduction on the permanent subcommittee financial reform amendments package be inserted in the record at this time with the attached amendments. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, they will be admitted. mr. levin: i thank my friend. mr. gregg: mr. president, i wish to join in congratulating senator corker, senator isakson, senator shelby and others who have come together around this issue of better underwriting standards. it's hard for me to understand why this would be resisted in
this bill. because as has been outlined both by senator corker and by senator isakson it really was underwriting that created the problems which led our nation to the brink of a fiscal collapse. the way i described it is this: what we had was an inverted pyramid. you had this situation where an individual made a loan to another individual. or a corporation made a loan to an individual. based on the value of a piece of property. unfortunately, when that loan was made, it was made in a way where nobody really looked at the value of the property relative to the loan. and nobody looked at whether or not the person who was getting the loan could pay it back. because the system no longer had strong underwriting standard. and then that loan was taken and it was syndicated. it was securitized, it was sin synthesized and it became multiplied as the senator from tennessee said into $600
trillion of notional value. and we needed up with this huge pyramid of debt, built on the basis of this loan down here at the bottom of it between this corporation and this individual. this loan which was based on value which wasn't there and on ability to repay which wasn't there once the rates of the loan were reset. so why did this happen? why was this loan so inappropriately made? it was inappropriately made because we had a breakdown in underwriting standards. i've been through three of these events in my professional career. once in the late 1970's. once when i was involved in representing a bank in new hampshire. once in the late 1980's when i was governor of new hampshire. and now. three major financial disruptions which were created almost entirely by a failure in
underwriting standards, where people were making loans that couldn't be paid back based on asset value which wasn't there. it just was aggravated radically this time because of the way the system suddenly took these loans and exploded them through the securitization process and the syndication process. and so, if you're going to fix this problem, if you're going to put in place a regulatory reform system which actually fixes the issues which caused the crisis, you've got to address underwriting standards. and that's why the cochran -- corker amendment is so critical because this bill does not address underwriting standards in any other way in any significant manner. if you're going to have a legitimate effort to try to make sure this type of event doesn't occur again, you've got to put in place underwriting standards which establishes rules of the road which says that in the future america will not allow this sort of proliferation of
lending which is unsecured or not properly secured -- it's not unsecured. but not properly secured and where the person getting a loan, we know can't repay the obligation. ironically in this situation, these loans were made in some instances with the full understanding that this wouldn't happen, that they couldn't repay and the value wasn't there? why? we separated underwriting standards from the process actually making the loan. people making the loans were only interested in the fee. they weren't interested in whether the value was there of the security or they weren't interested whether the person getting the money from the loan could repay it. they were just interested in the fee. well, this should stop. the language senator corker put forward would accomplish that. it would put in place not unusual underwriting standards, not new underwriting standards. it would essentially go back to the standards, the type of standards which he had at a
prior time when we didn't have this type of risk in the marketplace because people knew that when they borrowed money to buy a house, they were going to have to put money down. and if they didn't put the full amount of the value down, they were going to have to have insurance to cover the difference. and they knew that their credit worthiness was going to be checked and thoroughly checked, and their ability to pay the loan was going to be checked. it is a totally reasonable approach. and if you're going to do one thing in this bill to avoid a future event such as we confronted in the 2008 where the financial industry in this country almost melted down, if you want to do one thing, you should adopt the corker amendment. i don't understand any opposition to it. i don't understand the concept which would oppose it because it is basically good banking, good lending. and it's also good for the people who are borrowing the money because they're not going to get money just arbitrarily but only if they have the value
and the asset they're borrowing on and if they have the ability to repay it. i certainly hope this amendment will be approved. mr. shelby: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. shelby: are you controlling time? mr. president, i rise to support corker amendment and specifically the important steps that the corker amendment takes to establish sound underwriting standards for mortgages, mr. president. if there is any clear message from the crisis that we've been through, it's that much of what went wrong began, folks, began when loans made, were made to individuals that couldn't repay them. couldn't repay them. the corker amendment makes commonsense changes. it requires minimum down payments on mortgages which makes it more likely, mr. president, that borrowers remain committed to paying their
mortgages. it requires, among other things, that lenders verify borrowers' income and their ability to repay these things like that. this might sound simple, but remarkably they have been overlooked by the dodd bill. but in the past they've worked. we used to not have these kinds of problems. the corker amendment, if we adopt this -- and i urge my colleagues to vote for it -- will go a long way in the right, making the right steps to bring common sense to our mortgage market. mr. corker: mr. president, how much time remains in our 30 minutes? the presiding officer: there are 13 minutes and 40 seconds. mr. corker: i'd like to yield a few moments if i could to the senator from florida. the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. lemieux: mr. president, i'd like to congratulate my colleague from tennessee on this amendment and i rise and stand in support of it. we know in florida that this was the very problem that started this whole crisis. we called them ninja loans: no
income, no job. it's the underwriting standards went out the window because of the hunger from wall street to suck up these mortgages, bundle them into these large securitized packages and sell them off. so as wall street demanded more and more, underwriting went out the window. so what does the bank or the mortgage broker care if they can just ship off their mortgage and sell it off to wall street? and what do they care if the person they're giving the mortgage to can't pay it back? what do they care if that person can't afford the home to start with? so we got ourselves into this perfect storm of a situation. and one of the key elements that allowed this to happen was the fact that there weren't underwriting standards. mr. president, when i bought my first home back in 1995, i didn't have 20% to put down. i had 15%. so i had to get mortgage insurance to cover the other 5%
of my down payment. and until such time as my family, my wife and i at the time before we had any of our kids, until we could make the payoff to get to 20% of equity value to the loan, we had to pay for the mortgage insurance. once we did, we no longer had to pay for that. in the late 1990's and early 2000's, that went out the window and no longer were these underwriting standards put in place. so we now know, looking back on the debacle that happened in 2008 that one of the key reasons it happened, one of the key things that made it fertile for this problem to grow was the fact there weren't underwriting standards. what senator corker does in his bill is he puts these mortgage underwriting standards back into law the way they were when everything operated the right way. 5% down payment, credit enhancement to get you to an 80% loan to value. fully documented income including credit history and
employment history. and a method for determining the borrower's ability to repay. all those things make common sense but that common sense didn't prevail in the mid2000's. last week the waultd said the 20 things that could be done to avert the financial collapse that happened, the number one thing was to strengthen underwriting standards. this bill which we're considering which is supposed to go at the problems that caused this melt -ldown in 2008, it is 1,409 pages long, and it doesn't address perhaps the number-one biggest reason why we had a financial failure in 2008. senator corker, along with senator isakson, senator shelby, senator gregg, and to a smaller extent myself, have worked on this, and i commend my colleague from tennessee. there is absolutely no reason not to pass this. if any of our colleagues are serious about really reforming
our financial system and preventing this problem from happening again, then they must support this very fine amendment. thank you, mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. corker: not seeing other senators at this time wishing to speak, i do want to just recap, if i could. we spent a year and a half working on financial regulation in this body. and there are a lot of fancy things that we are looking at that certainly need to be looked at. no question we're looking at clearing trades with derivatives. we're looking at all kind of section 106 issues and other kinds of things, many of which i have issues with. but it's amazing that after all of this time we still are not dealing with the core issue. it's hard for me to imagine that anybody in this body would think that a 5% down payment, a 5% down payment on a loan would be something that's extraordinary.
this puts in place, as the other senators have mentioned -- and i certainly appreciate those who have joined me in cosponsoring. i've had a couple of folks on the other side of the aisle today come up and say, look, this makes common sense. i'm going to support this. it's just amazing to me that, again, we're not focusing on those very things that we think are the core issues. we had a chance a minute ago to deal with fannie and freddie, and of course we didn't. and i know it's a complex issue. i felt that the mccain amendment gave us an ability to have a time frame under which we'd actually deal with fannie and freddie, and of course we didn't. we decided to have another study. what i would say to my friends on the other side of the aisle that while there's an unwillingness to deal with the issues of fannie and freddie and some of the problems that exist right now within f.h.a. wharbgs this bill would do -- what this bill would do, what this amendment would do is put in place underwriting standards,
that it would at least ensure that the mortgages that fannie and freddie are purchasing themselves would have proper underwriting standards. mr. president, i think that is very, very important. it's amazing that sometimes we'll spend a year and a half in this body, a year, six months, whatever on different types of issues, and we focus on lots of things that industry brings us, that other people bring us. but we don't get down to just the commonis en, core issues that americans know work. mr. president, i thank the senator from florida and others who joined in this effort to ensure that we have appropriate underwriting standards. again, let me just recap. these are not draconian steps. basically federal banking regulators themselves, the regulators of our financial institutions would set criteria for underwriting. there would be be a minimum of a 5% down payment.
any loan that was above 80% loan to value would have a credit enhancement like has been done for years in the past of private mortgage insurance. there would be fully documented income. i can't imagine anybody in this body not thinking that that would be a good idea, taking out a loan that many people expect to pay off over a 30-year period, including credit history and employment history. a method for determining the borrower's ability to repay. this is something the regulators themselves would get together and lay oufplt including consideration -- lay out. including consideration of the debt-to-income ratio. just a basic element of lending. this does not apply to v.a. where we made guarantees to veterans. it does not apply to rural housing. for those people who may hear from some of the nonprofit organizations that i've worked with and some others in this body have worked with -- i helped create one in chattanooga
in 1986, helped over 10,000 families there have decent housing. those types of organizations have the ability to be exempted if they are the types that allow people through sweat equity and other kinds of things to have skin in the game. we applaud those efforts. we applaud people who go out and volunteer and take care of their fellow citizens by helping them have homes, helping people who are less fortunate. i know all of us support those. we go to events where we thank people who volunteer in that way. this bill does nothing, nothing other than allow them to operate as they do, through exemptions, through our regulators. so, mr. president, i know that the other side of the aisle, as i mentioned earlier, has tried to deal with this issue, and they haven't figured out a way to deal with it yet. i know we have a side-by-side amendment that's coming up, and i want to thank those on the other side of the aisle who have
put some effort in to try to do this same thing. mr. president, this, again, is a commonsense effort. my guess, if you laid this out in front of most citizens, in every state that we come back back home, most citizens would say, you know, this is just basic. you loan money to someone, these basic underwriting standards ought to be in place. mr. president, i urge everyone in this body to please look at this seriously. this is one thing that we can do that's tangible, that's not a study, that's not putting something off, that's not putting something off hoping that regulators might do something down the road. this is something tangible that we can do to ensure the base, the core issue that created this financial crisis over the last 24 months is dealt with. and that's that individual loan that's made from somebody, a lender to somebody who's
borrowed money and ensuring that proper underwriting standards are in place. mr. president, i don't know if the senator from -- do you wish to speak on this, the senator from texas? she does not -- i see the senator from connecticut is ready to move to the next issue. mr. president, i yield the rest of my time, and i thank you for your patience. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. merkley: i call up amendment 6932, the merkley-klobuchar amendment. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from oregon, mr. merkley, processes amendment 3962 to amendment 3739. mr. merkley: mr. president, i propose that we dispose with further reading of the amendment. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. merkley: i ask unanimous consent to add senator kerry, senator franken and senator levin as cosponsors. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, they'll be
added. mr. merkley: i would like to thank the bipartisan cosponsors to this amendment including senator snowe, senator scott brown, and members on both sides. my colleague, senator klobuchar, will be speaking in a moment, senator begich, senator boxer and senator kerry and franken and senator schumer. and i would like to applaud my colleague from tennessee. virtually every word that senator corker stated tonight is an argument for this amendment that senator klobuchar and i are cosponsoring. i'll get into the details later because i want to yield time to my colleague from minnesota and my colleague from connecticut to speak to the bill and then i will offer my remarks. but i do think it is important to recognize that the bulk of what senator corker addressed goes right to heart of this amendment as -- as well. there is a point of distinction between the two amendments, a critical point of distinction, and that is the 5% underwriting
absolute line. that line is a line of great concern for those of us who have had experience with first-time home buyers, those of us who have had experience with families who are at the bottom of the income spectrum. and i should make it clear that the downpayment is only a portion of the skin in the game that such families have. because there's tremendous closing costs associated with these loans that the families must bear as well. and so the inflectionibilitiy of that standard is a -- inflectionibilitiy of that standard is a great concern of these two amendments. i'll continue on after my colleagues have spoken to address some of the major challenges this amendment addresses. but right now i'd like to yield five minutes to senator klobuchar. ms. klobuchar: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from minnesota. ms. klobuchar: thank you very much, senator merkley. thank you for your leadership on
this issue. i was proud to work with you. thank you as well, senator dodd. i wanted to mention my good colleague in the house, ms. el dandyson, we worked on this issue and this bill together. complex and deceitful lending practices were at heart of the financial crisis. and as we work to reform wall street, mr. president, we must ensure that the homes and home equity of americans are not put at unnecessary risk. with one in seven homeowners -- one in seven, who would have ever thought that -- delinquent are in foreclosure. it has been estimated that each year predatory mortgage lending results in a loss o of $1.9 billion for american families. it is critical that families have access to safe, fair, and affordable mortgages. i see my colleague from illinois, senator durbin, who
has seen this firsthand in his state. firsthand people losing their homes. people at the mercy of call lines that they can't even reach anyone where they're calling and calling and calling for help. borrower protections like those we have in minnesota should be a national policy to help safeguard families across the country. a decade ago, mr. president, just 5% of mortgage loan origination were subprime. meaning that they were made to borrowers who would not wall pie for regular mortgages, only 5%. by 2005 it was 20% of mortgages that were subprime. it was a disaster waiting to home. this expanded homeownership to millions of people. but it also greatly increased the risk to our financial system. in minnesota in 200 there were 8,337 subprime mortgages issued, by 2005 it increased five fold to more than 35,000 subprimes. however, we now know between 60% and 65% of people who ended up
with subprime qualified for traditional mortgages. we need to make sure this never happens again. that is why last year i introduced the homeowner fairness act which is comprehensive housing reform legislation that proposes tough, new national standards based on the successes of the minnesota mortgage lending law passed in 2007. and that is why i've joined senator merkley on an amendment that will ensure several key ideas from this bill are included in the wall street reform. these aren't radical ideas, mr. president. the fact that practices were ever allowed to take place should be shocking to those who haven't even heard about them. first, this amendment would require all mortgage originators to verify a borrower has the ability to repay a mortgage before giving loan approval. let me repeat that. this amendment would require mortgage originators to verify a borrower has the ability to repay a mortgage before they approve the loan.
it may just sound like common sense that you wouldn't loan someone money without first figuring out if they could pay you. but these lenders never intended to keep the loans they originated long enough for it to matter. they simply sold their risky bets to someone elysee and put the -- someone else. it would prohibit a mortgage originator to steer a borrower to terms more expensive than those which he qualified. in recent years loan originators were paid more if they got borrowers to take out predatory subprime loans even if the borrower qualified for a pile loan. it is important to remember that the crisis we're addressing with this comprehensive wall street reform bill was triggered by the downturn in the national housing market. this downturn brought to light the prevalence of unsound lending preferences in the subprime market. this disregard for underwriting standards spread risk throughout
the financial system as these unsound loans were sold, chopped up and sold again. no one can any skin in the game, mr. president. though the market for subprime mortgages was less than 1% of global financial assets, the fault in the system that started with unscrupulous origination practices allowed the turmoil in the housing market to spill over into other sectors. when sound mortgage loans are made they provide families with the piece of the american dream, mr. president. but when loans are made recklessly, without concern for the consumer, these loans become nightmares. not just for the families that are left on the hook, but for our entire. we need to make sure that abusive mortgage practices come to an end. for far too long, subprime lenders put homes and the equity of homes at unnecessary risk. this is essential to restoring our economy and preventing a future crisis in the housing
market. i ask my colleague support the merkley-klobuchar amendment, mr. president, and i yield the floor to my friend and a great leader on this issue, senator merkley of oregon. the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. merkley: thank you, mr. president. i'd like to compliment my colleague from minnesota for the incredibly solid and important work she has done on this topic. it goes right thoort of building a family's -- right to the heart of building a family's financial foundation. and there is a lot of movement that needs to be made to restore a framework that will build those foundations rather than destroying those foundations. i'd like to yield to my colleague from connecticut if he wishes to make remarks on this amendment. mr. dodd: mr. president, first, let me thank my colleague from oregon and my colleague from minnesota as well and for their
contribution. and while he's left the floor, i'd be remiss if i didn't express my gratitude to bob corker of tennessee in putting aside whatever differences we have on this amendment. mr. president, he's been a very, very valuable member of our committee. this bill that is right here all 1,400 pages of it, substantial parts of this bill can be attributed to the work of bob corker of tennessee. and i -- i want my colleagues to know how grateful i am to him, to his staff, and others for some valuable ideas and thoughts. and while not everyone is included in the bill, he played a consistent role. showed up every time there was a meeting or gathering on this legislation. spent a lot of hours with our colleague from virginia, mark warner. particularly on titles 1 and 2 of this bill. i will say more about senator corker's contribution during the debate on this bill.
but i wanted to at the outset of the debase and discussion thank him for his wonderful legislation. let me thank senator merkley and senator klobuchar, as well as other cosponsors in this bill, bipartisan support for the amendment. i would like to be included in the record some correspondence. i have a letter that we sent out in 2007 -- well, let me start out with a letter in december of 2006. to give you an idea it was four years ago. it was signed by myself, wayne allard, who is no longer with us of colorado, senator sarbanes, jim bunning of kentucky, jack reed of rhode island and jack schumer. the letter is push regulators for guidance for subprime mortgages. that's in 2006 that we sent that
first letter. we were in the minority, we democrats. in april of 2007, we sent another letter to chairman bernanke, and here we said that our committee had held two hearings this year on the problem of subprime mortgage rates. this is in february and march of 2007, three years ago, at the hearings a number of committee hearings raised concerns that the regulators have not kept space with the deteriorating of unfair lending practices. in addition we're concerned that the federal reserve board has not exercised its obligations under the homeownership and equity protection act of 1994 to issue regulations that address the problems of predatory lending. the letter goes on for two or three pages. that was in april of 200 -- that was signed by myself senator reed, senator schumer, senator
bayh, senator cocker, senator sherrod brown, senator casey and senator tester. in december of 2007, we sent another letter to chairman bernanke in light of the deepening crisis we said to the chairman, "in the mortgage markets a crisis that you attribute to lax underwriting standards in the subprime market. we want to reiterate the importance of acting forcely the rule making that the federal reserve board is taking under the homeowners equity protection act." we go on there for two or three pages. again, i say respectfully, but not a single member of our committee from the other side signed that letter report one in april of 2007. now, this letter was signed by myself, senator johnson, senator reid, -- senator reed, senator schumer, senator menendez, senator brown, and john kerry of
massachusetts. those are just three pieces of correspondence, mr. president, going back four year ago in trying to get some attention to the predatory lending practice that's were going on. and we acted in 2006, or even in 2007. we would not even be close to the disastrous effects that have occurred with seven million homes lost, four million today under water in the country, in very danger of falling into foreclosure. 250,000, a quarter of a million homes in the first three months of this year have been seized in foreclosure proceedings. and here were three pieces of lengthy correspondence signed in one case on a bipartisan basis in 2006. and 2007, unfortunately, at a partisan basis. not because we didn't seek additional signatures on the letter. to highlight the importance of underwriting standards and the need to step up. i also want to add at this
point, if i can, mr. president, a -- a letter from the national association of realtors expressing strong opposition to the corker-gregg amendment. in their letter to -- to the united states senate, to all senators, this letter went, they say the following the corker-gregg amendment replaces the risk retention provisions of the credit risk retention with the study of feasibility of risk retention and implements the mortgage underwriting standards that include a mandatory 5% downpayment for all mortgages. as our nation tons recover from the worst economic downturn since the great depression, realtors brought us to this point. however, we caution that swinging the pendulum too far in the opposite direction may reverse the fragile recovery.
based on data from the national association of realtors of home buyers an sellers, 11% of all home purchases surveyed had downpayments of 5% or less. when considering only first-time home buyers, the percentage utilizing a downpayment below 5% increases to 18% of all purchases. improving underwriting to ensure that the consumer has the ability to pay their obligation is in the best interest of everyone. but eliminating the possibility of some credit worthy customers to buy a home without significant detrimental ramifications for american families, the housing sector and those business that's support it. end of letter. i ask consent that that letter be included in the record as well. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. dodd: mr. president, let me take a couple of minutes on this. i know my colleague from texas is here and others. but this is important that people understand what happened here. because 5% sounds pretty reasonable.
why not 5%? let me explain why that provision poses some risk to all of us here. the senator's amendment, as offered, has two parts to it. they are almost kind of run into each other in a way. the first half of the amendment strikes the government-imposed risk retention requirements in the underlying bill. these requirements as i explained before and will in a second again will result in strong market-based underwriting standards in the residential mortgage market. then in the second half of the amendment, the amendment puts in government dictated, hard-wired underwriting standards that would have very serious consequences as the national association of realtors points out for first-time home buyers, minority home buyers, and others that are seeking to attain, of course, the american dream of homeownership. and like the earlier debates we have had before, it does this at a time as we all know that the housing markets are just starting to recover, potentially putting that recovery at risk. let me start by discussing the first part of this amendment.
the bill, section 941 of our bill, requires securitizers to retain an economic interest in the material portion of the credit risk for any asset that securitizes, transfers, sell or convey to a third party. what does this mean? very simply put, mr. president, it's skin in the game, skin in the game. a skin in the game requirement creates incentives that encourage sound lending practices, restore investor confidence and permits securitization markets to resume their important role as a source of credit for households and businesses. excesses and abuses in the securitization process played a very major role in this crisis. under what is called the originate to distribute model, loans were made expressly to be sold into the securitization pools, which meant that the lenders did not expect to bear the credit risk of borrower
default. what does that mean? well, if you're the broker out cutting a deal, what was the first piece of advice on their webpage to the brokers, the unregulated brokers? the first piece of advice to them was from their association, convince the borrower, convince the borrower you are their financial advisor. well, of course, they are anything but their financial advisor. their job was, of course, to get people to sign up and commit to these mortgages, which they knew in too many cases could never, ever be met. that is, they could never -- the borrower would never possibly meet it. now, if you had some skin in the game if you're the broker, you might be a little more careful about that, but of course the broker was acting on behalf of the lending institutions. now you think well, the lending institution is going to care about this. when i bought my first home back x number of years ago, my mortgage stayed at the old stone bank. i signed those papers, i could get out every day,
mr. president, and i could pull out that drawer and look at my mortgage. it didn't leave the old stone bank. it stayed right there. let me tell you, that fellow at the old stone bank wanted to make darn sure that this young lawyer in connecticut was going to meet his financial obligations, so they had underwriting guidelines for me. i was a first-time home buyer, i just got licensed to practice law in connecticut, so they had a little confidence i might be able to meet my obligations, so they had underwriting standards. today it's vastly different. that young lawyer today that goes and gets that mortgage, the lending institution frankly could care less whether or not you have underwriting standards. why? because he is going to sell that mortgage. that's what securitization is. i'm going to sell it. so on average, they told your mortgage eight to ten weeks, then they sell it. it goes right out the door. the broker, he could care less. he got me to sign up with a deal i couldn't afford. the old gang doesn't care
anymore because they are selling it, bundling them together and shipping them out the door and some unwitting investor may be purchasing these things because they have been branded by the rating agencies as aaa or aa. they think they are pretty good. so why am i putting skin in the game? because if you don't have skin in the game, if you don't have a vested interest financially in the outcome, you don't care what happens, unfortunately, in too many cases. you have been paid. you have got your dollar out. you know, you have been compensated as the broker, you have been compensated as the lending institution, you wash your hands of the whole thing. and that's what created this domino effect, because there were not people watching and caring what went on. so in my bill, i said well, why not keep a little skin in the game? or drop the skin in the game but write underwriting standards. you make the choice. but if you have got skin in the game, i suspect you're going to be careful about underwriting standards. if you write the underwriting standards, i don't want to take a pound of your flesh from the lending institution if you're going to meet those obligations.
that's exactly what jeff merkley said, and our colleague from minnesota and others are suggesting here. let's get good underwriting standards here. that's why i support what they are talking about. so i apologize going into all of that originate to distribute, but originate the mortgage to distribute. that's exactly what it means. this led, of course, to significant deterioration, in credit loan underwriting standards, particularly in the residential mortgages. and with the onset of the crisis, mr. president, there was widespread uncertainty regarding the true financial condition of holders, of asset-backed securities for obvious reasons, freezing interbank lending, constricting the general flow of credit, complexity and owe pasty in the securitization markets prolonged and deepened the crisis and have made recovery efforts that much more difficult. my proposal in the bill has a measured approach which requires, of course, separate rule making on requirements for different assets. i won't bother you with all of that. now, a lot of people support this, by the way, including the consumer federation of america, the investors working group, the
american securitization forum, a group of 30, even the former republican secretary of the treasury john snowe when he says because of the lack of participant accountability, the originate to distribute model of mortgage finance with its once great promise of managing risk became itself a massive generator of risk, end of quote. a study is not a credible response, and i say that respectfully of the senator from tennessee's amendment. he called for a study in all of this. our bill provides for comprehensive regulation of securitization markets to prevent excess he is and -- prevent excesses. let me add quickly, i'm a strong supporter of securitization, mr. president. that has provided liquidity which has made homeownership more available to more people. but you have got to do it carefully. if you're packaging these mortgages with no regard to whether or not they are valuable or not, sending them out the door to be sold off, then you
jeopardize securitization. get good underwriting standards as the senator from oregon and minnesota are requiring, then you're going to build in some safeguards. then securitization with proper branding of what they are worth and you're back on track again and we can start to see housing improve for everybody. the corker amendment also requires of course here a 5% down payment of all loans, no matter what the circumstance. that's a government-mandated requirement in a sense in this amendment. even f.h.a. loans, hard wiring and statutes of the requirement is very ill considered, i should say. the key cause of the crisis, as i have said many, many times over the past almost four years on the floor of this body was the unscrupulous mortgage brokers, mortgage lenders who sold unaffordable mortgages to people who could not pay those mortgages. in the majority of the cases, those loans were refinance loans, mr. president. they weren't even original
mortgages. it was the refinancing. no down payments are required in refinancing at all. down payments didn't even come up or come into play with these borrowers, but the mortgages were still outrageous and unaffordable and they still led to the foreclosures that contributed to the economic crisis we're in. why was this? it was because the brokers and bankers had no skin in the game, so they not only didn't pay attention, in too many cases, they didn't even care whether or not the borrowers had the ability to pay back those loans. the merkley -- the merkley-klobuchar amendment specifically addresses this problem by specifically requiring that lenders take into account the borrower's ability to pay and laying out important criteria for determining that. it will end the steering payments that caused so much of the trouble in the first place, and while the 5% down payment requirement may sound reasonable and in some cases it is, there are many lending programs out there that allow for down payments that are lower than 5%.
f.h.a. is struggling now but has traditionally allowed down payments less than 5%. f.h.a. has been a path to homeownership, as we know, for millions of our fellow citizens. many nonprofits such as habitat for humanity, the enterprise foundation, church-related housing groups. in fact, mr. president, i have a letter here -- i did have a letter -- signed by -- and i will ask that to be included, that has been from a number of these nonprofit organizations in opposition to the corker amendment. i ask that be included in the record as well. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. dodd: these groups, it appears that -- in fact, i should say in fairness to senator corker in the latest version of his amendment, it allows for some exceptions on a case-by-case basis of these nonprofits where each individual nonprofit has to go to the regulators for such an exemption, but they simply -- they may simply not get it, they have to apply. it's optional to give that. many insured depositors, of
course, have mortgage programs that require less than 5% down payments, and they are performing well and have done so in the past. and we want low and moderate income families to go to banks to get loans, qualified low and moderate income people that have to meet those standards. we don't want to simply shut them off, shut them off to nonprofits. we want to get them into the financial mainstream. the corker amendment would create a new barrier to accomplishing that goal. but the merkley-klobuchar amendment provides for that underwriting safeguards, does not -- puts tight restrictions even on f.h.a. mortgages that would make it impossible for an awful lot of people. mr. president, i thank my colleagues. i have spoken a long time here and i apologize, but i think it's important to know the history of how we got into the mess and what happened out there that led us to these difficulties, why underwriting is important. and what senator merkley and senator klobuchar have offered is to get back to the sensible requirements here without
writing these stringent requirements in this legislation that would be so difficult. so i urge my colleagues to support the merkley-klobuchar amendment and respectfully oppose the corker amendment. by the way, their amendment is endorsed by a number of our colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and i thank scott brown of massachusetts that's involved with this amendment by senator merkley and others, and i commend him for it. it's a good proposal. mr. whitehouse: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. whitehouse: may i inject myself in this debate for one minute to ask unanimous consent for a whitehouse amendment that restores states' rights to protect against exorbitant out of state lenders doing business in one's own state? i would like to ask unanimous consent that senator cochran of mississippi be added as a cosponsor, and i want to just take a moment to let him know how much i appreciate his cosponsorship of what is now a bipartisan amendment, and i look forward to continuing to work to secure additional sponsors from
both sides of the aisle. thank you very much. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. the senator from oregon is recognized. mr. merkley: mr. president, before i speak to this amendment, i want to applaud my colleague from connecticut who spoke so passionately and knowledgeably about the challenge that had been faced by subprime underwriting gone astray. if only the letters that he and his colleagues wrote in -- in 2006 and in 2007, those multiple appeals to those who had the power to establish those underwriting standards had been listened to, had been followed up on, then we would have a much smaller challenge today. we wouldn't have had this big meltdown in 2008 and 2009 with so many millions of american families having the value of their home destroyed. and so i applaud him for his advocacy here after year after
year, and i'm pleased to be able to join him in this effort now, and i particularly applaud the effort to establish standards for skin in the game. this is a very responsible way to create accountability for our mortgage originators. i do want to note that there are three issues that particularly contributed to dysfunction at the retail mortgage level. the first is liar loans, undocumented income where mortgage originator would tell the client well, we'll just pencil in here that you earn $150,000. it doesn't matter -- don't you worry about what you're really earning. we'll just put this in here. and that obviously led to a complete corruption of the quality of the mortgage and certainly the families involved had no prospect of paying for those homes that they were being being -- those mortgages and the interest rates they were being signed up for. second was to fail to employ
basic underwriting measures, measures like loan to value and credit history and employment history and current obligations and debt to income and so forth. these are the type of measures that any responsible originator goes through to understand whether or not this loan makes sense for this family, whether perkins used up a couple. sheed used up a cup toll prevent the layup. next thing you know, eight minutes left in the quarter, they're in the penalty and mo williams and lebron james become much more difficult to guard. that's why shaq is so valuable to this team right now. >> who is winning tonight? >> i like boston tonight. i really do. >> in cleveland? >> i have a gut feeling because cleveland's effort has been so uneven. it's been like a polygraph in this series. i don't get that from team that's poised to win an nba championship. you have home court throughout every possession should be life and death to this team, and it hasn't been that way. boston thoroughly outplayed them first two games in cleveland,
dominated six out of the eight quarters, really let game one slip away. they had an opportunity to get that game. game two they got convincingly. this team knows they could close this out at game six at home in boston. i think cavaliers will be under a tremendous amount of pressure tonight, and right now we're seeing mo william, delonte west, jamison, hickson, the role players, jamario moon, they're not handling the pressure very well. they didn't handle it well last year against orlando. they haven't handled it well in this series. i think they're going to feel it more than they ever have tonight and lebron might try to do too much. he fight feel like he's going to have to carry this team. that's what the celtics would like the happen because they feel like they'll win with balance and a complete team effort and they don't need one guy to be spectacular, cleveland does. >> very quickly, talking about it moments ago, the nba does not want this series to end in six. if so, what would happen? >> no games this weekend. if this series ends in six, thn you've got no games on saturday
or sunday because game one in the west will be next monday. that would definitely be the worst-case scenario for the nba. we'd all love to see a game seven on sunday. that would be tremendous for the league, especially with an epic game seven that these two teams have already played a year ago. so we'd love... two years ago. we'd love to see that happen again. we'll see if lebron and company are willing to go along with that. but i think boston is going to be very poised and relaxed tonight and maybe they win and end this thing in six games. >> let's think positive. that would be very painful for the nba. >> we want basketball on the weekend, definitely. >> absolutely. good job, timmy. >> thanks, linda. >> the associated press is>> t taking a revote for defensive rookie award following the suspension of last season's recipient, texans' linebacker brian cushing banished for the first four games of the 2010 season after testing positive for a banned substance. the s.e.c. minute was collectedh for slightly elevated levels of h.c.g.
jairus byrd could be the beneficiary of the revote. byrd finished second in the voting, which cushing won going away. the last safety to win was mark carrier back in 1990. parkers' linebacker clay matthews and redskins'0. linebacker brian arack bow also received votes. we're now joined by espn's john clayton. john, what did you think of the a.p.'s decision to have a revote? >> i applaud it. i think they did a good job. did and i have to make my decision because i'm one of the 50 voters, by tomorrow. i think there's a decent chance i'll probably change my vote, even though i think in the end brian cushing could still stay as the defensive rookie of the year. i think the wiseou thing is thee was one element when we voted wa did not know. we did not know that he had ae o positive test, and we did notot know he was at risk of maybe. only having a 12-game season.nly had we known, that we might have had a different vote back then. i think that's why i'm considering changing my vote, but i'll leave my options open until tomorrow morning.
>> john, who exactly are you going to be voting for then? >> if i do change my vote, which i think is very likely, i would lean towards going with one of the linebackers that were there with ten sacks or more, probably clay matthews over brian orakpo. i still have to settle that. this was one of the better rookie votings i think we've ever been involved in. when you have byrd with nineu ha interceptions, two ten-sack guys and orakpo's 11 and brian cushing, those are four strong candidates. even though the vote was 39-6 in favor of cushing, this was a pretty close vote as far as those four top players. >> john, the texans appeared to be in the dark about cushing's positive tests. how does nfl keep something like that from happening again? wisely they do and it'sy mainly for theit protection of prayer. you're supposed to havepose confidentiality when you have a positive test. only the team is notified if there is going to be a suspension coming, not at theth initial stage.
and the reason for that, if teaf gets ahold of that information and the player is in contract negotiation, they could use itt against the player.ld u so for the protection of thefo player, the league tries to keee the confidentiality between the party involved, the player, and the league itself, and keep the team out of the loop. that's fair. >> he is espn's john clayton.esn john, as always, we appreciate the insight. >> thanks, will. >> nfl players' association director demaurice smith releasing the follow statement: still to come, it doesn't get any better than tommy smith. yes, the preliminary roster for the u.s.a. soccer team was released.
>> the preliminary roster for the world cup have been released. espn soccer analyst tommy smyth joins us. now we saw charlie davies and the story that he had, which is one that's very compelling. had the accident last fall, and here he, is though, off the roster for the united states. how surprised were you by that move, tommy? >> well, obviously i was surprised because the rumors were that he was going to be able to make it. i must say i was more surprised that conor casey is not on the roster. if you like at charlie davies' case, it's a feel-good case. he had an horrific car accident. was he able to get back? i think bob bradley just decided he wasn't going to be fit enough and he wasn't going to be competitive enough to play for the united states. if you have a roster of 23 men, you need every man on that roster to be willing and to be able to play part if you need them. obviously bob bradley felt he wasn't able. >> what do you think of the current make-up of this team as it stands right now? >> well, it's a team that's
going to have to play very well. it's team that's going to have to play above themselves. their first game against england, you throw that out. the other two games become the key games for the united states. but i think if they're going to do well, they need landon donovan to be a leader. they need josie altidor to finish chances. the one key feature of a world cup final is you get the chances. you've got to be fit to put them away, because you play a team like england, you'll get two or three chances a game, and you better finish them off, and the u.s. does not have a good record of finishing off opportunities. >> the one squad that was abeye-opener from you that you saw from their roster was italy. what stood out to you about what they have? >> when you look at italy, italy are the defending world champions. you can never rule them out when they get to a world cup finals, but one thing about the italian italians, this staff is notoriously slow. they will not go with delciro, stastny and leukemia tony.
maybe they have too many juventus players. they're four years out. i think totti might have played a role. but lippi figured if he brings in totti he might have to change this t whole configuration of the team. >> one player does that? >> one player because the type of player totti is and the attention he gets some if lippi takes him and totti doesn't play, the italian press will be on his head every day, you have him here and why didn't you play him, and god forbid they lose. >> for brazil, they always seem to have an embarrassment of rich, but they decide to not have adriano and ronaldinho on the roster. what did you make of that? >> that didn't surprise me. pele said ronaldinho should be playing. tommy smyth said months ago ronaldinho shouldn't be playing. >> you called it. >> i didn't think he had any chance. one big thing that surprised me about this team is paso is not on it.
he's one of the rising stars in the game, one of the best young players around who can score goals. he plays with ac milan in italy. he's a brilliant young player, and he's not on this squad. donga never had an inventive moment in his life when he was playing. he's one of those players that destroys everything coming through mid-field. i think he's got about five destroying, defensive mid-fielders. so donga is depending on fabiano who hasn't scored for nothing for spain this year. i tell you, if brazil are not very, very careful, portugal and the ivory coast could be the team coming out of that group and brazil might be looking at it from the sideline. >> okay. before we let you go, tommy, what's the one team you're going to be watching for. >> you know, i'm an irish guy. i picked germany when the world cup finished the last time. i thought they would win the euros. they were beaten 1-0 by spain. the german team didn't show up. this is a german team that wants to get to the world cup finals. they are always well disciplined. they are always able to win
game. philip flam, swine steiger, they haven't scored too many goals this year. they have a problem first keeper has gone down, but they have a couple good keepers. i'm still sticking with them. >> all right. if you're not going to abandon them... >> not yet. >> that's the kind of guy you are. >> tommy smyth, one month away from the world cup. you will be a very busy man. i know we'll be seeing a lot more of you in the coming months. >> promises. >> thanks, tommy. >> and don't forget, the 2010 fifa world cup from south africa. and espn will have complete coverage for you starting on june 11th all the way until july 11th. >> still up on espnews, lebron james getting ready. pivotal game five tonight. the cavaliers hosting the celtics. who will he be guarding? stay tuned. vote on one issue this election --
you said you bought a digiorno. but the pizza came with cheesy breadsticks. it's a drizzily night in baltimore but the orioles are home and happy to be back. they begin an 8-game home stand hoping the bats come alive. cliff lee on the mound for seattle as the mariners come to town and the orioles have david hernandez. it's the o's and ms first of 3 and it's o's extra on masn right now. welcome to orioles baseball, on brian matusz t-shirt night. and the grounds crew has been
hard at work taking the tarp off the field as the orioles and mariners hoping for an on time night. the orioles are happy to open up the ate game -- 8-game home stand. lee against hernandez tonight. ryan rowland-smith tomorrow against bergesen and the finale thursday will be hernandez against millwood. welcome in, thanks for joining us. jim hunter and rick dempsey. the orioles have been getting on a roll and maybe just maybe against see aleel -- seattle they will do this. they are struggling mightily as the plate. .229 batting average. 3.3 runs per game. only the astros have scored fewer runs in the major leagues than seattle. you have to play the game.
when you see seattle struggling maybe you're getting them at the right time. >> they are like the orioles in their own division. they can turn it around. the three starter they have at the top of the rotation should be aces on any agriculture -- 9's staff. cliff lee is a cy young award winner. hernandez one of the best right- handers in all of baseball. eric bedard. those three guys is should be leading the division. cliff lee is just coming back, bedard has not pitched yet. they have vargas, they have all the pitching they need. that's the key to the game. the offensive woes they have, last in runs scored, last in rbi in the american league, the fewest amount of home runs and the lowest batting average. they have the offensive problems like the orioles do.
they have guys that are set in that order. no reason for them not to produce. you think they are underachieving. >> well, one thing about the orioles if you're looking to get a positive roll going, one way is to hit, if you hit you will find your way in the lineup. for more we head across the field and welcome in amber. i concern hear her. >> we're having trouble with amber's microphone. >> whoever plays the best they will play. pretty simple, for you are able to do a lot of things. is that why you enjoy leading off. because that's where you seem to have the success.
>> no, i head the top of the lineup most of my career. i can bring good stuff to team, my speed and i play the ball. when i'm on the game i can hit the ball. so lugo in the lineup tonight and he will bat lead off. he was 3-28 in april but he's come on in may, a .471 afternoon. >> 11 hits on the year, all singles. when you have a guy in the lead off spot and telling him to get on base. that's okay. >> he's done a good job in the lead off spot. brian roberts, nobody will replace brian roberts. lugo has done a good job of making contact. he will use the bun. he's hit the ball all over. he's done an out standing job and he deserves to be in the
leaders spot. >> as the orioles open up the series against the mariners and ty wigginton has the edge. his slugging percentage is the highest when he's playing at 2nd base. just as a wigginton gives the orioles the edge. you can keep your edge with just for men. when we come back on o's extra we'll chat with john shelby. who has the better arm. suzuki or markakis. you knew.
display. suzuki and markakis. i spoke to john shelby about a couple guys who help win day in and day out. >> when i look at ichiro, this guy has probably more talent than any of the outfields in the american league. this guy can run, he can position himself. he can catch everything that's hit to him and has a tremendous throwing arm. he's very accurate and looks like a little guy but he plays like a big plan. sometimes players don't understand they know they have good speed, they know they have a good throwing arm and a lot of time they rely on the talent and not look at the game and understand at times you don't need to make a long throw. you need to use your cut off man. at times you've to throw behind the runner instead of in front of the runner. that's the difference when guys
have good throwing arms they put your team in a bad position in a close game. they try to throw it all the way to the base. now you have to bring your infielder in. out of a double play situation. those guys keep their team in the game, they are thinking ahead and those are things that are very, very hard to teach. you learn the game early. when i came here nick markakis was good. that's something he learned along the way. it's nothing i have to teach. sometimes it's hard to teach those things to young outfielders. they trust in the ability more than they believe in the game. >> nick markakis was good before i got here. i have not seen him decline. he knows how to play the hitters. he's tough to move this the out field. when it comes to reading balls off the bat he plays well. his arm is probably more
accurate or close to ichiro, when he throws the ball he has a tremendous throwing arm. i love the way he fields and plays and having the opportunity to see those 2 out there. you're seeing 2 of the best right fielders in the game. when runners run on those two right fielders they tend to get caught. nick markakis has the most assists in the american league with 52 and ichiro has 34. what we're seeing here, the players that don't run against them because they know they have accurate throwing arms and rarely make a mistake. >> given the opportunity this is two guys you don't want to take a chance with. they know what they are capable of doing and rarely come out of their game. what makes markakis so good is the footwork before he catches the ball. he's on perfect balance before
he takes the one step. look at the way he turns sideways. he lets the ball go, lines the hips and shoulders up. has a longer release point than an infielder and that's what makes it is strong, the way the ball carries the home plate. the guy is almost perfect every time he releases the ball. on the other side ichiro is perfect with his mechanics and there's players that are reluctant the stretch on him. he's another guy, perfect balance by the time he gets to the ball. you see a lot of comparisons between him and markakis. he lines himself up. he gets good jumps on the ball. this is another thing that makes him a good out fielder. maybe not as good as markakis. more people challenge nick, that's a stupid thing to do. ichiro gets excellent jumps on
every ball hit to him. our question of the day. get online and vote. who has the better outfield arm of the 2. >> vote during the game. masnsports.com. we'll have the results on o's xtra postgame. >> a difficult thing is understanding when it's time to retire. the mariners and ken griffey, jr. there's a surf decision. griffey is off to a slow start. is it a slow start or time to hang it up. >> this is hard to do. especially for a hall of fame guy. the bat does not get around to fastball later in your career. same thing with me, of course it never really got around much on the fastball in the middle of the my career. we've seen how easy it's been for him. now he's struggling. at that time and age when managers think it's time to
give opportunity to some of the younger players. it's hard to make that separation and keep yourself mentally in. ken griffey, jr. is seeing the hand writing to wall. it will be this year or possibly the start of next season. 630 career home runs. griffey is in the lineup. he will d.h. against david hernandez. here's a look at the mariner lineup. yechy0 in -- ichiro in his lineup spot. chone figgins, gutierrez and lopez with langerhans at 1st base. wilson shortstop, griffey bats 7th, johnson will catch and bat 8th and saunders in left field and bat 9th. tejada should be on a tear. miguel loves hitting at orioles park. >> he does, when he walks into batter's box he shows -- knows
what he wants to hit. he looks for ball in the zone. there's no apprehension about going after the pitch. if that ball is in his zone he can get the head of the bat it to. he can hit with power when he wants to, he can go up the middle. the tougher the pitcher is more he likes it. he does not fear being in a position to drive in the winning run. >> we'll get a look at the orioles lineup. lugo in the lead off spot. 7 for 13 with the rbi. he's back in the lineup. you hit, they put you in. jones, markakis, tejada, wieters, reimold, atkins and izturis. when we come back we'll break down the pitching matchup as david hernandez goes to the mound against cliff lee.
brian matusz learned what it like to be a fireman when you're on call the help save lives. brian matusz learned what it's about and join us for o's xtra on friday as we go with brian as he learns what it's like a day in the life of a baltimore city firemen. kevin millwood rode with the police department and mad with us the fire department. david hernandez on the mound. he's gone 15 consecutive starts without a win. what is this guy got to go to win. cy young couldn't win with the run support that david hernandez is getting. he's trying to pitch with no support. one thing i have noticed about david, he always, pitching from
the stretch is tougher than pitching from the wind up for him. he has pitched outstanding with men in scoring position and that's because he's staying behind the ball. i'm hoping one of these starts he will expect but pitching out of the stretch the entire time, which will keep people off base. he doesn't have a good batting average from the wind up position. >> david hernandez 1.72 runs per game average. he's 2/3 of an inning shy of qualifying but if he did that would be the worst in the american league. those numbers get better as the situation gets more dire, david hernandez tonight. the goal is to keep member on base. on the other side you have cliff lee making his third start for the mariners. >> here's a guy, he's been a cy
young award winner. one of the toughest in the national league. he pitches well. keeps his team in with an opportunity. he has a good repertoire of pitches. fastball in the 90s and a great change-up. this is the key, that change- up. he uses the curveball early in the count. does not worry late. can throw the fastball up in the strike zone. the scenario is the same against every left-hander that pitches against the orioles. fastballs late from the count and change-up when he's in trouble. >> cliff lee against the birds is a perfect 3-0. lincecum, halladay, wainwright,. the orioles are opening up a 3- game series against seattle. o's xtra challenge, who's the
player to watch? >> nick markakis, he got a day off. he's feeling good. his swing is there. possibly he swings the bat well against left-handers. he's my pick tonight. >> you're pulling away. i need a win, my famous reverse lock that never works. miguel tejada is any guy. come on. the law of averages have to catch up and he loves hitting at orioles park. i need a win. >> what happened to the reverse psychology. >> bring it up but it never works. i have miguel tonight. you're pulling away. i need a win. we'll hear from dave trembley when we come back. will there be roster changes as the orioles try to get more of a consistent offensive threat. ♪
achievement unleashes hidden potential. ♪ all right! achievement looks forward to dinner at home. achievement enjoys newfound freedom. i love you. [ male announcer ] mortgages, home equity loans, and lines of credit from pnc. helping achievers borrow with an eye towards the future. pnc. for the achiever in us all.
garrett atkins on a chilly night at camden yards. we have bonus minor league coverage for you tomorrow night. triple-a norfolk at triple-a syracuse. the orioles and nationals triple-a teams getting together. you can see that game in its entiretiy tomorrow. have you noticed what corey patterson has done since he signed with if tide. a 10 game hitting streak going. .475 and 4 doubles. he had two more hits last night and he has the batting average up to .385 and the on-base percentage at .439. there was speculation he may be brought up to begin the home stand. that move was not made and dave trembley was asked about possible roster changes.
>> i won't rule out there's not going to be changes during the home stand. today there was and any changes. i wouldn't rule that out during the home stand. >> i'm sure, andy like myself are looking at the offense to get it started. obviously to be is a tough chore going against lee. white 18 good time to start scoring runs. as we go through the home stand that possibility does exist. >> whether it's the all-star break. >> i do, i think about it all the time. you hope, i was hoping in minnesota we had a great chance to win 3 out of 4. we had one of our best guys going in
matusz. it was not his day. he's entitled to have a bad one. we need to start a mind set of winning series. taking 2 out of 3 be slowly trying to get back in it. we're going to start playing more games here at home. we need to start with a mind- set of let's start winning series and see where we are in 30 days. you need the to take it a series at a time. see where you are every 10 games. that's the only way you will start making up some of the ground. >> there's 130 games to play. it would seem like sooner or later this would turn and we get on a roll in a positive way. it's inconceivable to accept or imagine the way we have struggled offensively will continue for an extended period
of time. there's too many guys that are too good of hitting. the level of pitching we've faced has been topical bear the say the least, you come back and face lee. you should use that to your advantage. if ir getting over the hump let's beat one of best and take a deep breath and get going in the right direction. there's no time like now if you don't think this is eating up the players. everybody cares. no one is more disappointed than they are, you know. we're disappointed. it's not the end of the world, but we need to start getting it. we need to start doing better. here's the break down of
numbers of orioles schedule. the teams they have faced, 129, no excuse you have to win more games. they will face satel, cleveland and kansas city. just a .370 winning percentage. >> the orioles have played 10 series and only won one, they are coming off a 4-game series split in minnesota. every time you get 2 out of 3 you chop one off the deficit. >> i look at the games the orioles should have won, where they didn't get the game closed out by the closer. the orioles would have won more series maybe 5 or 6 and would be close to .500 had they not done one thing in the game that hurt them. the game is coming up. garyathon and jim palmer next
it's the orioles on masn. the orioles return home, minnesota the last four games series where the orioles split against the twins, seattle in tone opening up the first of 3. no team has played fewer home games than have the orioles. they have won 4 and lost 8. they hope to take advantage of home cooking. in this game two teams who offensively are struggling. look at the numbers. for seattle, .229 team batting average. the second worse start in their team history. for the orioles 3.3 runs a game the 4th worse start in team history for the orioles offensively. who can get on the board. >> that surprised everyone the mariners changed hitting instructors on sunday morning.
they get powell. they score 8 runs a couple hit home runs. they have not done that. at the end of the day, if either team will score a lot of runs who'll pitch better. you would like to think it will be cliff lee. david hernandez, he's comfortable pitching in this park versus on the road and maybe this will be the night. he has a 10-game losing streak. not only will he pitch well they will support him. >> it has been so tough. david hernandez deserves one w. you take a look at these numbers. 0-4. 15 straight games without a win and theez in those games 26 runs when he's been on the mound. it puts pressure on him. you have to understand power pitcher can be expectative. when you don't get runs you think you have to be perfect. maybe tonight he won't have to
be. they will give him run support in we'll see how it goes. it is brian matusz tie shirt night and he autographed a few before the game. first pitch coming up. patch o. ♪ achievement unleashes hidden potential. ♪ all right! achievement looks forward to dinner at home. achievement enjoys newfound freedom. i love you. [ male announcer ] mortgages, home equity loans, and lines of credit from pnc. helping achievers borrow with an eye towards the future. pnc. for the achiever in us all.
against seattle. a light rain and it's 45 degrees for the start of the ball game tonight. let's look at the starting lineup. for the mariners, ichiro leading off, figgins, guttierez, lopez, langerhans, wilson, junior, johnson and saunders with ichiro the .365 lifetime against the o's. >> rick: our scouting report the hernandez. he's pitched better .
>> gary: there's been long stretches looking for ws. this has been the longest the orioles staff. he's had 15 starts without a win. we'll talk about that as we move along tonight. >> jim: there's the defense, reimold in left, jones in center field, markakis the right fielder. izturis, lugo, atkins at 1st base. they hope he will get on the board and wieters in his first full year, second year in a orioles uniform. >> gary: seattle lost 8 in a row before the offense got going and won yesterday. they had a disastrous home stand. we're underway as ichiro stands in. there is the man who has the highest average ever against the orioles in their history. ichiro will take that for a strike ichiro .388 with a couple home runs lifetime off
the orioles. if seattle's offense will click ichiro has to do it. he will pop that up into the seats. >> jim: david hernandez third start of the year was against seattle. he punched a game where he didn't get a win because they gave up 3 runs only got him one. his best pitch is fastball. the first he can get the change- up and breaking ball over and pitch in the zone. that's when he brings it up a notch. >> here's the delivery on the way. ichiro back to the mound. and hernandez gets the out, an important out when you play seattle. >> jim: the first two hitters are the guys that generate the offense. they steal the bases. when you look at figgins how are you hitting .113 against right handed pitching.
the lefties he's hitting well. righties you get most of at bats really struggling. they didn't expect that when they signed him to a deal for $36 million. >> former angel. top of the order guy has not been able to get it done and one of the reasons the offense is struggles. he's not had a hit in the last 12 at-bats and has not had a hit against the orioles. he went 0-10 in seattle. hernandez will get that in for a strike. it goes to 1-1. for hernandez he's 2 fight and right handers 294 lifetime numbers against him. the pitch is taken up high. dave trembley talking about the need for hernandez has to be more efficient and get the pitch counts down. >> jim: it starts with strike one. even in a fastball count where
figgins struggling, but looking for fastball. didn't get it. if you trust your stuff, when's the last time we've seen hernandez throw fastballs and take your chances. its that a good way the pitch when you have great stuff. >> figgins is out of there. hernandez gets a strike out and there's 2 down. >> gary: the breaking ball, his meat and poe tate toes -- potatoes the 4-seam fastball fastball. >> gary: like to get through a quick inning. here's gutierrez. he's done a number to orioles pitchers. he has not had the number of at- bats to be among the all time averages but he's hitting .445
in baltimore. that's part of big number against the orioles. hernandez pitch is low. for david lifetime 1st inning he's given up 15 runs on 23 hits in 25 starts. his 1st inning e.r.a. is 5.4. >> jim: s that predictable for a young pitcher trying to learn his way. you can see it how good his stuff can be. those balls are in the middle. right here, there's the glove for wieters and see the ball in the middle. you have twilight and have a tendancy on get away with that. when they adjust that's when you can be hurt. >> everybody was headed into the dug out from the field. >> gary: gutierrez is going to get his glove. look at this ball. knee high right down the
to you by southwest airline. >> jim: and our scouting report on cliff lee, a couple years, the cy young award winner, 22- 3. he will be a free agent. last start against the orioles in 2005 and the lifetime numbers 3-0. he can pitch. >> dave: cliff lee 3-0 against the orioles looking for the 4th. the left hander. here's lugo, lugo fouls it back. goes after the first pitch. lugo batted lead off and had 3 hits in a ball game on the 5th against the yankees his second multihit game of the season as the orioles and dave trembley continues to search for someone in the number one spot, what's
happened it's been a rotation. >> dave: 0-1 delivery. 1-1. >> jim: he talked to amber before the game and said not the first time i led off. i can bunt, can hit the ball to right field. i can steal bases. >> gary: into the rain, center field, gutierrez he's got it. lugo retired. we'll check in with amber. >> cliff lee gets lugo out. not what dave trembley wanted to see. he wants the pitchers to be more patient especially in the 1st inning when they allow the opposing pitcher to get off the hook easily. in the road trip they allowed the opposing pitcher throw 11 or fewer pitches in 2 of the game -- trembley wants more patience. >> the orioles have not done that all year.
they are among the top 5 in the fewest pitches seen per plate appearance little. dad am jones has been one. he has a 3 game hit streak. knocked down. a long flow and a fine play. a nice play. >> jim: s that not jack, he has a hamstring problem. you have to catch the ball and he throws it to slide, and of course the other bonus he hit a home run the other afternoon for the mariners. >> dave: good play. >> jim: the one thing, it's good and well for dave trembley to want to take pitches. cliff lee is not going to mess
>> gary: david hernandez goes back to work. there's if grounds crew watching the weather. it's raining. stop the rain. joe west went into the dugout the check between innings. he's the crew chief at first base. he will keep an eye on this as it's been a steady rain. 1-1 on the way and that will miss outside. 2-1 on lopez. >> jim: the biggest concern for the umpires is that the infield
dirt gets too wet. the field drains well. >> gary: a big heater. >> jim: it's funny. david hernandez when dave smith the minor league coordinators of pitching says he throws a invisible fastball. what do you think 96 looks like tonight? >> he comes back with a breaking ball low. >> jim: those are the things. you're throwing the ball by everybody, why do you need to throw lopez who was late on your fastball a breaking ball. now it runs the count to 3-2. >> he gets one down the line in right field. headed to foul territory it is not by much, in the corner. lopez in the number 4 spot. this lineup is being juggled. 3s 3-9 with a home run lifetime off hernandez. both of managers are trying to figure out how the get runs.
neither team is doing anything in the offensive department. so both have to view this game as being a 1-0 ball game and start that way. 3-2 to left field. reimold coming, coming. he's got it. >> jim: that's why i take about trying to get the first guy out. that's one of the thing that hernandez struggles with. why run the count 3-2 . >> gary: you will see bad numbers in a lot of these
hitters for both teams. strike at the knees. 1-1. >> jim: the thing the mariners don't do and they would like to get to road, is hit home runs. they have 12 to year. guttierez has a hit off the last 3. >> they are on at pace to have not only the fewest home runs ever in mariners history, but by 30 fewer. >> jim: the way you hit home runs it's trying to have solid at bats. hit the balls to the gaps. another good pitch. there's that 2-seam fastball. you look at the record, as you mentioned, 0-4 with a high era. he's better because of that pitch. that's a 2-seam fastball that langerhans gives up on, and again it 31s of the plate, -- runs off the plate. >>
>> gary: that will miss low. 2 down, nobody on, here's josh wilson. getting the chance at short stop. he came up from triple-a where he started the season. pop that's up outside of first base and no play. that's back in the seats. he signed as a minor league player in december, not believing he would get up here this quickly. he was leading with a .333 batting average in the 20 games he played. >> jim: his first major league home run right here against the orioles. back to back games. one against the yankees one against the orioles. >> gary: that's in the air left center field. reimold, adams, he's got it. and that will do it. six in a row retired by
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showers and playoff on. are ready to go. tejada 5 for 16 lifetime off lee. he's one home run against cliff lee. 31 years old, 193rd major league start. fouls away, because of injury activated on april 30th. abdomen strain was the problem. he's had just 3 starts. >> in his last outing got a loss. tejada same place, 0-2. >> jim: there's numbers right there. we told you 22-3. a couple years earlier with cleveland he won 18 games there. s the numbers again the orioles, last 9 starts. they have not scored a lot of runs for him. he blanked texas. tampa bay he got runs. >> wilson takes the big hop.
makes sure in making the throws to get a hold of baseball. interesting hissing awas quoted as saying, five months away from free agency that's the most likely scenario, we've not had significant discusses with seattle. there will be excess of 15 clubs looking for a top guy. that's a day after he made his first start. not good timing. i mean, you would think you would be more smooth than that. now of course, and this guy, he has said he really loves seattle. but by the way there's 15 other teams with money. and is that tampering? >> i don't know. >> jim: it didn't make the fans in seattle happy. >> gary: here's the 0-2. that
will be taken away. wigginton is the designated hitter in this game. he's 0-6 lifetime off the left hander. orioles had their struggles with the left's. they are 2-8 against left- handed starters. that happens to be better than their average against right- handers, but neither is good and those hits have not resulted in wins. >> jim: i don't find that mind boggling when your two home run guys are markakis a lefty and the same for luke scott. >> gary: wigginton off the end of the bat. >> jim: then you have the figure in who's the left- hander. >> gary: he battled the rain on that one. there's 2 down in the 2nd inning. that brings up matt wieters. he has a 3 game hit streak going. he's found power of all the orioles in seattle he had the
best numbers. 3 home runs and 5 rbi in may and 5 for 12 with a double and rbi against seattle in that series. >> gary: the fastball is high. switch hitter, .263 right hands .293 right -- left handed. >> takes that for a strike, 1- 1. >> jim: i think that's what impresses mow most. obviously mathis a switch hitter. he does not swing early in the start. >> gary: that one he got under. infield second base. figgins, uh-oh, and he doesn't get it and he throws it away. figgins battling that rain, it will be an error charged to second base man. and wieters is at 1st base.
>> jim: wind, rain, bad vision, and couldn't snow cone it. >> gary: he could see that one coming. the seattle team struggling defensively. they are 12th in defense in the american league out of 14 teams. so figgins commits the error the orioles get a break. lee was halfway to the dug out. 4th error committed by figgins this year and the pitch is taken by reimold. watch cliff lee. oops. [ chuckle ] >> gary: the 0-1. broken bat ground ball. will go to first. good play by wilson to get the out. no runs, no hits, one error and one left on base. now hernandez will make sure there's 3 outs and come out. te.
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jr. the ongoing story of has time run out on one of the game's great players. 630 home runs, willy mays next on the list. takes that in the air to left field. reimold over. the unfortunate story about him sleeping in the clubhouse was written and they needed him and found him sleeping. i guarantee you that's not the first guy that was sleeping in a clubhouse during a game. anyway it got written and he's not hitting and the team is not scoring. can we afford to keep him in lineup. should he say give me a couple weeks if it doesn't come around i'm done. >> jim: you get three right handers in this series. he will play in each of the game, and the good thing, they are not in the american league east. the team is not running away.
they are in the race. they have to make a decision. it's a hard decision. i have such respect for him. he's going to hall of fame. for a number of reasons. not only because of the home runs but because he represents baseball. reggie wants that diamond. when will i know the hang it up. pitchers tell you. >> as great as he's been, it's hard sometimes to look in the mirror and face reality. that's why the general manager gets the big bucks. he will have to make the decision. >> 1-2 to johnson. that's down to 1st base off the end of the bat. atkins is there and johnson is retired and there's 2 away in the 3rd inning. david hernandez getting outs. >> jim: the sleeping thing. who would have told anybody. it's nobody's business.
there's been word he has a sleeping disorder. ken griffey, jr., and the point is if they needed to wake him up he could have pinch hit. tommy davis used to have to get the mustard. he would be eating hot dogs and shaving and come out and hid a line drive. >> gary: that's a ball. here's saunders, he's been called up because of injuries getting a chance to play. he's in left field. he's a prospect for this team. it's his third start in left this season. he had his first major league home run in the 4th inning of a ball game here a couple days ago. his mom was on hand. it was a great story. his mom has been battling cancer for a dozen years and she came to ballpark. he got his first home run with his mom in the yard. it was a very emotional moment for both of them.
on mother's day. >> so he really, he's been through a ringer the last couple days. called up to play. that's what he can do. that's into the corner. markakis will chase it down. saunders will go in with a double. there's the first hit of ball game. >> jim: there's not many lefties came in 3 for 6. not many that don't like it thigh high on the inside corner. you can see wieters has to reach all the way across the plate, again, it's not that your fastball is not effective, he didn't make a pitch and saunders was waiting. >> gary: the runner on that will bring up ichiro with an rbi chance this ball game with 2 down. ichiro hit 17 of the last 22 ball games he's been in. had 5 hits in his last 10 at bats. never faced hernandez before. the pitch is high for a ball.
this is where hernandez gets tougher. the tougher the situation the better he does against hitters. that's been his young history. .182, 2 down, runners in scoring position. that's popped up, tejada coming over and on the railing might have a play. seattle got a new hitting coach. >> jim: powell made the drive up on sunday morning when they let allen go. he won 4 batting titles. ichiro is in the other league. he's in the central league. those are splendid numbers for both of those guys. >> ichiro come back again. hernandez has retired him twice on hoppers back to the mound. no runs, one hit, no errors and one left on base.
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>> cliff lee goes back to work here, atkins, izturis and lugo due up. atkins had a couple hits in seattle in that series. lee with a 1-0. cliff lee last year after winning the cy young the year before, last year was 14-13, he had a fine .322 e.r.a. checking the numbers on him since those were the full season. left handers .241 and right handers .223. 17 home runs 14 by right- handers. >> jim: he's done a great job on getting the lead off batter out. 87% coming into the game. you mentioned the fact that neither team score often. the lead-off walk may be the difference in the game. and now, they've been waiting for atkins to hit for power.
right here, 3-1. look for a fastball out over the plate. >> that's to right center field. ichiro is there. and one down in the 3rd inning. >> atkins retired and that will bring up izturis. he's gone back and forth from the lead off spot and the number 9 spot. >> gary: izturis will stand in with a .226 batting average. in at 3rd base, lopez. izturis has shown bunt a few times. not there. fouls it back. we talked about how the lineup has been all teared on a daily basis. here's the orioles in starts where they have hit in the lineup, different positions. wigginton six places, reimold 6, wieters 4. that's a lot of movement in the major leagues because most managers obviously
like to have a day-to-day lineup they can count on. >> jim: rick dempsey said when you lose brian roberts you lose your leadoff guy. he's comfortable. he takes pitches. he's willing willing to take pitches all the way to 2 strikes. there is a guy you can pencil in and everybody else depending who's pitching. tejada could be a good number 2 hitter. dave trembley has not had the luxury. >> they don't have a clean up batter. popped that up toward short. the 3rd baseman over and lopez will put it away. and 2 down here in the 3rd inning. cliff lee throwing strikes. 2 down, nobody on and lugo, lugo has faced lee more than any other orioles in the lineup. he's 6 for 23 lifetime off
cliff lee. he stands in with 2 down and nobody on. light rain on and off as the clouds whirl by. a good breeze blowing them through. lugo will take the pitch for a ball. >> jim: that's what dave trembley was talking about. the first pitch of the game it was a belt-high fastball and lugo had a good swing. but lee got it by him. if you are swinging low and away, change-ups on the first pitch when you don't have any idea. you're in the how do you hit with 2 strikes. that's not the way you want to hit until you get the 2 strikes. have an idea and a plan. >> gary: lugo with a 1-1 and he will pop that up. right there at the plate. johnson and he's got it. a 1, 2, 3 inning. the on runner to reach for the orioles first time through the lineup was an error when wieters got on.
averaged 3 runs per ball game. for the whole game. when he's been on the mound they've scored 26 runs. sign up for little league at orioles park. parade around the warning track. see players along the dugout root and get your team signed up. go the orioles.com for details. one away guttierez and lopez coming up. guttierez 3 for 8 lifetime off hernandez. he gets a strike in. gutierrez .319. he's brought consistency in the lineup. 3 home runs, 18 rbi. he's a offensive star in
baseball right now. one that will be around for a while. >> jim: they signed him to a 4- year deal over $20 million. and that's why they went out and got him. solidify up the middle. >> a fly ball to center. jones. 2 down. again, you have to read the bat, for david hernandez right there, if that ball is in it goes to left center. a good swing. your fastball is good. keep using it. what he's done tonight, kept the ball in the ballpark. has yet to walk anyone. that's what you need to do when you're pitching against, they can talk all you want. you're pitching again cliff lee and you don't have room for error. do the things you need to go to keep your team in the game and
keep the other team off the board. >> gary: jose lopez. 1-0. he had a 1-12 in the series in seattle against the orioles. lopez batting in the clean up spot in this ball game with a .220 batting average. a home run and 12 rbi. >> jim: 25 have them last year and 42 doubles. 41, 42 doubles the last 2 years. >> gary: that's the count you get into trouble. this is typical young catcher young pitcher. get him out with breaking ball. then you have to make a perfect pitch with the fastball. >> gary: dave trembley saying before the game david is a 50- 50 pitcher. he's 50-50 with strikes and balls and that just doesn't get it done. too many 3-0 counts. here's one of those. tonight until this at bat as
jim said he's been more effort. >> jim: he went 3-2 back against wilson, but other than that he's been aggressive. terrific stuff. >> a ground ball to short. izturis up, he gets back and lopez gets the out. scoreless, ms and o's. [upbeat whistling continues] discover the unexpected beauty and man-made relaxation in northwest florida. fly southwest's new nonstops from bwi airport to panama city beach starting at $99 one-way. (ding) 0 to 60? or 60 to 0? [ tires screech ] how a car performs in a quarter-mile? [ engine revs ] or a quarter-century?
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the orioles are returning home where they are 4-8 to open up the series on a coal 45-degree -- cold, 45-degree rainy evening. no score as both pitchers dominating early. jones leads it off. jones grounded out his first time up. adam with the 3-game hitting streak coming in. trying to get that average up out of .220 area. that will be strike one. 3 for 32 that's a 95 batting average against left-handers. >> jim: righties are hitting almost .270. >> that's bunt. 0-2. this is a young kid trying
to get on base. lopez with 2 strikes. you want to bunt 0-0. the you bunt with one strike you go back to where you were before. that's when you want to bunt. >> 0-2 on the way to him. adam last year for comparison purposes against left-handers hit .246. .295 off righties. this year has not happened. 1-2 to third. lopez, one away in the 4th inning. no runs, no hits, one left on for the orioles. no runs, one hit, one error and one left on for seattle. >> jim: congratulations to dallas braden on mother's day with his grand mother in the stands pitching the perfect game. if you have a hole-in-one in golf. you figure every time you play a par-3 you realize i could
have another one. a-rod said he will be remembered for the things he's done well. good for him he pitched the perfect game. >> the right thing to say. nick gets out of an 0-10 as he delivers a one out single and we'll check in with amber. >> i'm hiding. a .313 batting average against cliff lee and he's at the top of his list as far as top lefties. when i asked him who he does not like facing as far as lefties he said jamie moyer. even at 47 years old. he said because he throws slowly, knows how to pitch and i foul long balls off him and
never but anything into play. he had a shut out friday night again the braves. >> a lot of hitters have said that about jamie moyer. a lot of people say throw the ball. >> jim: he's looping it in good places. he can pitch into righties, down and away. >> jim: when your fastball is 82 or 3, but your change-up is 78 it is effective. >> gary: major league players are not used to that slow. it takes the timing off. >> jim: dick was his pitching coach here in baltimore and they said, you can use your change up link most use the fastball and haze. >> gary: here's tejada. markakis on for the orioles. tejada grounded out his first time up. miggy with a 6 for 27 road
trip, unfortunately the final three games in minnesota ended up with an 0-12 and now he's got an 0-14 going. >> jim: the pitch he just foul off, actually it had better cuts against cliff lee than the mariners have had against david hernandez. he's been aggressive. got balls up. they have not been able to hit them. >> gary: that is down the line in right field. ichiro going over. markakis to third. here's the throw to the cut-off man and they hold him. markakis had no chance to score. it's a double for tejada. second and third with one a way. >> jim: there's your hitting count. good pitcher on the mound, looks for a fastball. he slices it inside the foul line and ichiro is waiting for it. nick on a very slow field.
it's like the kentucky derby. maybe not that wet. there you go. there's that 0-fer. >> gary: takes care of that with a two-bagger. now the orioles get a chance to go on top. wigginton flied out his first time up. better than the team average of .220. a shot at lee right here looking for his first hit. he's 0-7 again the lefty and a time-out called at the plate. lee trying to keep that hand warm and that will bring johnson out. he wanted the time-out to get the signs i think. you get azons, sense. the mariners lost 8 out of 9 to home stand and scored 12 runs in those games. one .25, he knows he's not
getting a lot of runs. >> gary: and wigginton takes a strike. >> jim: we have not seen him throw a lot of breaking balls, have not seen the big over head curveball. this is a situation where a former cy young award winner wants a strike out. he's doing it against a guy that doesn't have good numbers against him. 0-7. >> gary: 0-1 on wigginton. and he will take the pitch down low. these two teams so much alike because their offenses are struggling. that for the mariners 17 of their 31 games have been decided by one or two runs. that's a lot of one run, two- run ball games. the orioles have gone through the same kind of situation, when you get a chance like this you have to get it at least a run in. >> jim: the bonus for wiggy he doesn't have to get a base hit. he can look for a ball up.
you can see cliff lee through the last pitch 96, you will see extra. that's why he's a special pitcher. he does not want to give up a run. what's not what good pitch doors. he knows he won't get many runs and david hernandez is pitching well. >> gary: 1-2 on wigginton. hitting .250 off the lefties 50 points lower than right handers so far this year. he hits better against righties last year as well. 1-0. wigginton protecting. fouls that up into the second deck and stays at a ball and 2 strikes. where would if orioles be? been the leader with between, 20 rbi, 7 ahead of tejada who's second to ballclub along with
wieters with 13. surprising offensive thrust. 1-2 delivery and fouled back. >> jim: a good swing. like a change-up or something that stayed up. we haven't seen lee use his whole arsenal. here you will see the whole bag of tricks. he wants the strikeout. especially with this count. figures maybe i can give up a run. when you get to 1-2 you're thinking strike out. when you have his capability. ty wigginton wants to get the ball in the air. >> 1-2 on the way. wigginton again fights it off as the battle is joined wigginton and lee going at it. dave trembley hoping that the orioles can get it going. their numbers have not varied. the orioles hitting .244 on the