Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Chinese Drywall Versus British Petroleum: The Conservative Conundrum

Consider British Petroleum's oil rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and the position held my conservatives to absolve the British corporation of their sins, with some like Rep. Joe Barton going as far as to apologize to the oil giant.

Now consider the actions regarding the federal government and the Chinese drywall-related problems that have been playing out for over a year.  Last year, a bipartisan bill passed congress dealing with the issue.
The legislation requires the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, in conjunction with the United States Treasury Department, to provide a report of the problem within the next 120 days. The report should detail how many foreclosures are a direct result of the defective drywall, which was imported from China between 2004 and 2007. The legislation also asks that federal agencies work to research if homeowners insurance was available to those homes which were affected by the Chinese drywall.
Also consider legislation from the states that was supported by Republicans such as one from the Louisiana legislature that would "prevent insurers from canceling or nonrenewing homeowners policies because of Chinese drywall claims."

Unfortunately, GOP stonewalling had prevented moving legislation to a final vote, but not because of the drywall issue - the American Jobs and Closing Loopholes Act may include an amendment to allow the IRS to offer assistance to homeowners trying to determine if they are applicable to file a casualty loss deduction on their homes and possessions, but Republicans are too focused primarily on ending the collection of unemployment benefits to care.

Why are conservatives quick to jump on the bandwagon against Chinese drywall but are so willingly to defend the oil industry that is ravaging the Gulf ecosystem and economy?

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