Cavuto suggests Congress should have warned that "[l]oaning to minorities and risky folks is a disaster"

Video ››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

On September 18, Fox News' Neil Cavuto conflated giving home mortgages to minorities with risky lending practices, suggesting that there should have been "a clarion call that said, 'Fannie and Freddie are a disaster. Loaning to minorities and risky folks is a disaster.' "

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Neil Cavuto, host of Fox News' Your World, conflated giving home mortgages to minorities with risky lending practices, suggesting that efforts to increase homeownership among minority borrowers contributed to financial problems at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Discussing the decision by the U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Housing Finance Agency to place Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into conservatorship, Cavuto asked Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA) on September 18, "[W]hen you and many of your colleagues were pushing for more minority lending and more expanded lending to folks who heretofore couldn't get mortgages, when you were pushing homeownership ... Are you totally without culpability here? Are you totally blameless? Are you totally irresponsible of anything that happened?" Cavuto later said, "I'm just saying, I don't remember a clarion call that said, 'Fannie and Freddie are a disaster. Loaning to minorities and risky folks is a disaster.'"

Previously, on the September 16 edition of Your World, Cavuto said to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD): "[Y]ou wanted to encourage minority lending -- obviously, a lot of Republicans did as well. There was a lot of -- expand lending to those to get a home," Cavuto went on to ask, "Do you think, intrinsically, it was a mistake, on both parties' part, to push -- to push for homeownership for everybody?"

From the September 18 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:

CAVUTO: I just wonder, you know, with Congress holding all these hearings -- and you're right, there are a lot of them planned -- does anyone hold hearings on what you guys knew or didn't know or whether -- or whether you were ignorant or not? I mean, does anyone look at -- I know the buck stops with the president -- but at least it stops by you guys. What were you doing?

BECERRA: Well, we were trying to get answers from the administration. Unfortunately, it didn't seem like they were giving us a complete picture of what was going on. We can only know what the administration tells us about their administration of the government. But you're right.

CAVUTO: All right, but let me ask you -- but, Congressman, when -- when you and many of your colleagues were pushing for more minority lending and more expanded lending to folks who heretofore couldn't get mortgages, when you were pushing homeownership --

BECERRA: Neil, who did that?

CAVUTO: -- again, no, no, seriously, again with the best of interests --

BECERRA: Who did that?

CAVUTO: I'm not saying -- I'm not blaming one or the other. I'm just saying you and a lot of --

BECERRA: Yeah, but who did that? I'm not aware of anyone asking anyone to make a loan to someone who couldn't afford it.

CAVUTO: I'm just saying, are you -- are you totally -- wait a minute. Are you totally without culpability here? Are you totally blameless? Are you totally irresponsible of anything that happened?

BECERRA: Neil, if you can tell me what Congress did not do that it should have done, I'm more than willing to take a look at that, and -- and answer your question. But, as far as I can tell, with regard to what the Fed did, the Fed is -- is an entity, a body, that is under the administration, at least to some degree. We can only ask for oversight responses from the Fed or from the administration. But, again, if you can point out something that Congress did not do --

CAVUTO: But, no, it's your -- no, no, no, your hindsight, Congressman, is 20/20. I'm not denying that. I'm just wondering whether --

BECERRA: Yeah.

CAVUTO: -- did you warn or express concern about any of the things that happened? I'm not saying that one or the other is beyond blame --

BECERRA: Oh, absolutely, we did. Absolutely.

CAVUTO: -- I'm just saying, I don't remember a clarion call that said, "Fannie and Freddie are a disaster. Loaning to minorities and risky folks is a disaster."

BECERRA: Oh, Neil --

CAVUTO: Maybe if you said it, enlighten me.

BECERRA: -- oh, Neil, no, no. Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. Absolutely, we did. If you look at the record -- and if you want me to -- want to have me on again soon, I can bring you a record of time after time where members of Congress pointed out to a then-Republican majority that deregulating too many of these industries was going to cause this mismanagement and reckless-abandon activity that we now see by a lot of these money-changers. And, so, absolutely, Congress was alerted by members of Congress about what would happen if we stopped the oversight responsibilities that Congress has. So, absolutely, that's the case.

CAVUTO: All right, so --

BECERRA: And, if you want to have me back, I could bring you that evidence.

CAVUTO: I would look forward to that, Congressman.

From the September 16 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:

HOYER: Well, we see the subprime problem. You know, we passed legislation on the subprime, and, frankly, Alan Greenspan didn't enforce it. Bernanke now has. We passed legislation on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in April of '07. It languished in the Senate. Mr. Shelby was opposed to it, on regulation. Secretary Paulson was for it.

CAVUTO: But do you think --

HOYER: And, in any event, the question is, going forward --

CAVUTO: -- all I'm saying, Congressman, all I'm saying is, do you think that -- obviously, there's enough blame to go on both sides --

HOYER: Sure.

CAVUTO: -- that -- that you wanted to encourage minority lending -- obviously, a lot of Republicans did as well. There was a lot of -- expand lending to those to get a home. Do you think, intrinsically, it was a mistake, on both parties' part, to push --

HOYER: I think --

CAVUTO: -- to push for homeownership for everybody?

HOYER: I think clearly what happened is, Fannie and Freddie got caught up in trying to do what the Congress wanted done.

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, Race & Ethnicity, Economy
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Neil Cavuto
Show/Publication
Your World w/ Neil Cavuto
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