Want a Taste of the 112th Congress, i.e. House

(3 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

I started a site, a couple of years back, to help keep track of the Veterans Administration as I was getting pounded by press release after press release as Gen Shinseki took the reigns and came out of the gate, All Positive Pro-Active Moves, and especially as he started filling his Administration with Pro-Active Vets and others, allot has been accomplished.

I also was following the Congressional Hearings, those two years and the two previous, both houses of Congress, as they to were finally tackling what wasn’t done in the 108th and 109th Congresses as the (T)’s waged two Wars of Choice but also kept to their long practice of ignoring veterans except at election time. One of the many positives out of the 110th and 111th Congresses was tghe fact that almost all their hearings were at least live streamed so America could watch and listen.

Well I give you the opening to the 112th Congressional House Veterans Affairs Committee, below.

I posted the following early this morning, their first Committee Hearing of the Congressional House Veterans Affairs. This mind you is an extremely important issue that has been finally getting the press it should have long ago.

House VA Committee: February 9, ’11;  Civil Relief Act (SCRA)

Visit site link for backlinks to testimony statements by the witnesses. There is yet to be a link for streaming this hearing on the site nor can I find one on C-Span, may or may not come before Hearing. This is real important to our Military Personal and their Families and the economy we now have, I find it more then odd this wouldn’t be streamed live but I’m not surprised.

Well it looks like the 112th Congressional House is doing just what I expected, blocking public viewing of their hearings, especially important ones like this. Can’t find a link anywhere for streaming this, will check to see if an archived link pops up after, but I don’t hold my breath. The (T)’s are back to doing what they did in the 108th and 109th, we pay them, they do or don’t do as they please, and we can’t follow our Democracy and it’s representatives as they hide!!

Alleged Violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) 10:30AM

Room 334 Cannon House Office Building Full Committee

Witness Testimonies


Panel 1

* Richard “Dick” Harpootlian, Esq., Richard A. Harpootlian, P.A., Columbia, SC

* Accompanied By:

* Captain and Mrs. Jonathon Rowles (USMC)

* William Harvey, Esq., Beaufort, SC


Panel 2

* Stephanie B. Mudick, Executive Vice President, Office of Consumer Practices, JPMorgan Chase & Co., New York, NY


Panel 3

* Colonel Shawn Shumake (USA), Director, Office of Legal Policy, Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, U.S. Department of Defense

* Hollister K. Petraeus, Team Lead, Office of Servicemember Affairs, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Implementation Team, U.S. Department of the Treasury


Panel 4


Submissions for the Record

* Colonel John S. Odom, Jr., USAF( Ret.) Esq., Jones & Odom, LLP, Shreveport, LA

Posting during the previous Congress I could at least post a link to the stream and occasionally to the C-Span coverage, very few, just a couple, were not streamed live those whole two years. We are now back into DeJa-Vu all over again, it doesn’t even make any difference if they later put up a link to an archived video, it’s the fact they’re hiding in the dark as they meet, unless you’re there. That means they want to control the meme depending on what’s said in the hearing, live.

Meanwhile, across the isle, no hearings are yet scheduled, but the following hit my e-box just a short time ago from the new head of the Senate Committee of Veterans Affairs:

Chairman Murray Requests Answers on Steps Banks Have Taken to Limit Foreclosures on Service Members

Murray calls on newly appointed head of the Office of Servicemember Affairs to lay out steps financial institutions are taking to ensure that servicemembers are not being taken advantage of while serving our country

(Washington, D.C.) Yesterday, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, sent a letter to Holly Petraeus, head of the Office of Servicemember Affairs in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at the U.S. Treasury Department, in response to concerns that some financial institutions were not offering protections to servicemembers provided under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. Among the safeguards in the SCRA, which is under the jurisdiction of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, are a number intended to ease concerns over financial situations at home for servicemembers. Recently, however, it has come to light that some servicemembers have been improperly overcharged on their mortgages or even been foreclosed upon by lenders.

“I am concerned that numerous military members were improperly overcharged or foreclosed upon while deployed because lenders failed to follow the requirements of SCRA; this is unacceptable,” Senator Murray wrote. “I would like your assessment of how well financial institutions are following SCRA, and what additional steps need to be taken to ensure compliance.”

The full text of the letter is below:

February 8, 2011

Holly Petraeus, Team Lead

Office of Servicemember Affairs

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Implementation Team

U.S. Department of the Treasury

Washington, DC  20220

Dear Mrs. Petraeus:

Congratulations on your nomination to head the Office of Servicemember Affairs at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Bureau will provide consumers, including servicemembers and their families, with the information they need to make better informed financial choices.  It will also promote a fair and transparent process for obtaining services like mortgages and credit cards, while enforcing consistency between the providers of these services. Your role in protecting the rights of our servicemembers is especially important as military families, including the Reserves, are experiencing more frequent deployments.

One of the strongest tools to protect servicemembers is the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).  SCRA’s protections, such as the six percent cap on mortgage interest and foreclosure protections, enable our deployed military to stay focused on the mission instead of worrying about their financial situation at home.

I am concerned that numerous military members were improperly overcharged or foreclosed upon while deployed because lenders failed to follow the requirements of SCRA; this is unacceptable.  I appreciate the action you took on February 1, 2011, to notify 25 mortgage lenders of their responsibilities under SCRA. This is an important step in making sure these lenders are following the law.

In response to the concerns raised about compliance with SCRA, some companies have already self-identified non-compliance in their home loan business and are working to make corrections.  However, I am concerned there may be other lenders that have overcharged or foreclosed upon SCRA-protected servicemembers.   It is critical that all lenders provide their employees adequate training and put systems in place to ensure compliance with SCRA.

As you know, SCRA applies to a variety of financial instruments, including consumer loans and credit card debt.  It has come to my attention that some companies have identified non-compliance in other service sectors, such as student loans. Companies providing lending services should review their files in order to identify potential violations and move quickly to resolve any they find.  As you continue your work on behalf of servicemembers, I hope the scope of your review of financial institutions’ practices includes all of the protections covered by SCRA.

Based on your work to date, I would like your assessment of how well financial institutions are following SCRA, and what additional steps need to be taken to ensure compliance.

Thank you again for your work on behalf of servicemembers and veterans. I look forward to hearing from you and to working together in the future.


                                                   Patty Murray



February 9, 2011

I’ll bet there’s a Senate hearing on the docket, just not yet scheduled or in the public relm, on just what the letter above outlines as well as the hearing today in the House that we can’t watch or listen to!

Now tell me who actually works for the pay and benefits we give to those who represent? us as well as their staffs and more!!

DeJa-Vu all over again, (T)’s are back in the House!!


    • jimstaro on February 9, 2011 at 23:53

    They finally put up an archived webcast link for viewing or listening to.

    Now what I’ll have to check out is were there statements made to so called media outlets like FOX before this link was placed, as we couldn’t watch it live, and if so what was said. Once said, especially to the FOX crowd, reality won’t matter, the meme’s were controlled and the facts after blow into the wind!

    By the way, they have a video link they can archive, meaning there was video playing of which they could have streamed it live as they did the previous two Congresses. There’s a reason they didn’t and the one I come up with is they didn’t want the public to hear the questions and answers until well after any public statements were made if needed to be!

  1. where’s the question mark?!

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