In an October 23d article in the New York Times an ongoing battle in Congress is laid out, with the Republicans trying to subpoena records of Countrywide Mortgage related to their VIP Program. The Democrats, behind the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Representative Adolphus Towns, have been resisting issuing these subpoenas. However, it seems that they will be. Members have been requesting this action in order to find out about special deals given to members of Congress and other public officials by Countrywide Mortgage. Mr. Towns' aides did say that he had received a Countrywide mortgage, but that he had received no special favors or deals. Two Democratic members have acknowledged that they have received mortgages through Countrywide's VIP program, Senator Christopher Dodd, and Senator Kent Conrad. Though the Senate Ethics Committee stated that they should have "exercised more vigilance," there were no ethics violations. On Friday, Mr. Towns announced a broad investigation into predatory practices by the nation’s biggest mortgage lenders, including Countrywide, now owned by Bank of America. This comes during a time of feuding between Democrats and Republicans over this issue, including changing of door locks between Republican Committee offices and meeting rooms (by the Democrats), and Republican showing of videos of Democrats allegedly sneaking out before meetings. Meanwhile, we voters continue to struggle with tougher mortgage qualification requirements and higher down payment demands, resulting in a lot more renters out there right now. While this is interesting, we're all waiting to see if the first time home buyer tax credit will be extended and/or expanded.