Countrywide gave VIP loans to congressional staff who played a role in policy discussions that affected Countrywide. Staff with connections to the committees of jurisdiction for mortgage industry issues in the House and Senate received VIP loans from Countrywide. Between 2000 and 2005, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac committed their vast lobbying resources to defeating GSE reform legislation considered by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and House Committee on Financial Services. Countrywide buttressed the efforts of Fannie’s lobbyists by connecting with key staffers through the VIP program. Documents obtained by the Committee show a staffer in the office of Senator Robert Bennett received several VIP loans. Along with Christopher Dodd, Bennett was a member of the Senate Banking Committee, the committee of jurisdiction for the Senate’s consideration of legislation affecting the GSEs and the mortgage industry. As early as 1998, House Financial Services Committee staff were receiving VIP loans from Countrywide.
Regardless of whether any of this was technically illegal, it’s another example of the privileged life enjoyed by the Beltway class. Both Republicans and Democrats benefited from the Countrywide favor factory, which is also another example of how when one clears away the fog of partisan politics, they will see that we taxpaying peons are merely pawns in a never-ending struggle for control over our lives.