Some Senate Republicans Unhappy With Bush Stance on Housing Compromise

Posted April 9, 2008 at 1:56pm

Several Senate Republicans expressed surprise Wednesday at the Bush administration’s opposition to several provisions of the bipartisan housing compromise.

The Senate is expected to vote on the bill late Wednesday.

“I think it was really late in the process to come out and threaten a veto. They should have come out earlier to express their concerns,” lamented Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine).

Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) echoed Collins’ disappointment, saying that he was taken aback when he heard tell of Bush’s opposition.

Coleman said he wished there had been better communication between the Senate and the president, which would have resolved any issues that the president had before lawmakers reached this point.

Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) described himself as a “little shocked” and said the Senate “must pass the bill this [Wednesday] afternoon.”

Catching GOP Senators on the Hill off guard, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino warned Tuesday that the housing bill “would likely do more harm than good” and reward lenders and speculators while “passing on costs to other Americans who play by the rules.”

But not all Republicans support the bipartisan housing bill, which seeks to provide relief to strained homeowners on the heels of the subprime mortgage crisis.

Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said that the president’s concerns mirror his own. He added that not all Republicans think alike and that the Senate needs to address the concerns Bush has raised.