Small Disclosure Win


In the wake of the Countrywide/Dodd/Conrad scandal, the six members of the Senate Ethics Committee are cosponsoring an amendment to larger housing legislation requiring lawmakers to disclose loans and mortgages on their personal residences and other residences that do not generate income. Currently, lawmakers do not have to disclose residences that do not create income for them and also do not need to disclosure mortgages on those properties.

The proposal, put forth by Ethics Chairwoman Barbara Boxer , D-Calif., and ranking Republican John Cornyn of Texas, is cosponsored by the other four members of the ethics panel.

It would require lawmakers to disclose residential mortgages as a liability on their financial disclosure reports. Residential mortgages currently are excepted from the disclosure requirement.

Senators would have to report the rough amount of the mortgage, along with the interest rate and duration of the loan. They also would have to disclose the date of the loan and the name and address of the lender.

While the Ethics Committee members push this small disclosure win, the Politico pushed senators to reveal the mortgages on their personal residences to great success. Over the course of one week, all but 15 senators answered questions about whether they had a mortgage on their personal residence(s).