Rep. Hensarling Wants Probe of Senators

This is a rush transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," June 18 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: We have some new developments right now in the mortgage scandal rocking Capitol Hill. A group called FreedomWorks has just called for Democratic Senator Christopher Dodd to resign from his leadership position on the Banking Committee. He is accused of taking a sweetheart deal on a mortgage from Countrywide Financial.

My next guest demanding a full investigation. Jeb Hensarling is a Republican congressman from Texas.

We invited the Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo, Senators Dodd and Kent Conrad on to this show. They all declined.

All right, so, Congressman, what do you want to see?

REP. JEB HENSARLING (R), TEXAS: Well, Neil, what I think is, we need a full congressional investigation.

Video: Watch Neil's interview with Jeb Hensarling

Millions of Americans are struggling to pay their own mortgages now. They deserve the right to know whether members of Congress got sweetheart deals on their mortgages. And this is especially important because, today, today, there is a $300 billion bailout package that is going through the United States Senate that will help the largest mortgage lenders in the country, like Countrywide.

And, so, here you have the Democrat chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, the Democrat chairman of the House Budget Committee. They are the prime authors of this bailout bill. They got sweetheart deals. It is going to benefit Countrywide. I mean, that cries out for an investigation.

CAVUTO: Well, what do you think of their argument — I don't know whether it's verbatim per man — that they were unaware that they were getting favorable treatment?

HENSARLING: Well, I don't know. That may or may not be true, but, again, if you see this much smoke, I think you're derelict in your duty if you don't look for a fire.

We do know is, there was a VIP list, a friends of Angelo list. We do know that they were given preferential treatment. Now, whether they themselves know about it...

CAVUTO: And there's nothing wrong — we should stress, Congressman, there is nothing wrong and/or illegal with — with some customers getting special treatment.

You are arguing that, because of the position these men held, and particularly in the point of Senator Dodd, because he is chairman of the Banking Committee, he should never even have entertained it.

HENSARLING: Well, again, I'm not a jury here. What I'm saying is, we need an investigation. Neil, if I had all the facts..

CAVUTO: But you did say he should resign, right? You said he should resign.

HENSARLING: No, I did not say that.


HENSARLING: I said there ought to be an investigation.


CAVUTO: But, if there was proof of a sweetheart deal, should he resign then?

HENSARLING: Oh, absolutely.

If there was a quid pro quo, if there was sweetheart deal, if it impacted...

CAVUTO: All right.

HENSARLING: ... his decision in putting together a $300 billion bailout deal that is going...


HENSARLING: ... to cost millions of Americans money, while they're struggling to pay their mortgage, of course.

But all I'm saying now is...

CAVUTO: All right.

HENSARLING: ... if Democrat Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she wants to have...


CAVUTO: We will have more after this.


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