House Republicans plan to push for a formal vote to have a congressional committee subpoena documents dealing with a VIP mortgage loan program of the former Countrywide Financial Corp.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., plans to request the vote on Thursday at a meeting of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, according to a spokesman. Panel Democrats have so far opposed holding a committee vote to formally subpoena the documents from Bank of America Corp., which bought Countrywide last year.

The issue stems from the disclosure last year of a "Friends of Angelo" VIP program run by Countrywide, whose former chief executive is Angelo Mozilo. Prominent lawmakers, notably Sens. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., and Kent Conrad, D-N.D., were revealed to have benefited.

Republicans have sought to seize on the issue as fodder for a partisan fight, though an investigation by the Senate Select Committee on Ethics this year cleared Dodd and Conrad of wrongdoing. That review also found that the discounts offered to those in the program were not the best deals available at Countrywide or in the broader marketplace. VIPs "were often offered quicker, more efficient loan processing," amid other perks, the ethics panel found.

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