Thursday, April 30, 2009

Guess which Wyo. Rep. voted against The Credit Card Holders Bill of Rights?

Trick question.

There's only one U.S. House member from the State of Wyoming. That's right. Cynthia Lummis, looking after the state's citizens by voting against a bill that would put the brakes on predatory practices of the credit card industry.

She was one of only 70 House naysayers, all Republicans but one. She was joined by the likes of Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), who thinks that Matthew Shepard's murder had nothing to do with him being gay. Other free-thinkers voting against this consumer-protection bill were Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.), who once called for an "anti-American" investigation into Democratic Party members of Congress, and Ted Poe (R-Texas), who believes that waterboarding prisoners is a fine idea. What great company Ms. Lummis keeps.

Here are excerpts from an AP story by Marcy Gordon about the Credit Card Holders' Bill of Rights:

Riding a crest of populist anger, the House on Thursday approved a bill to restrict credit card practices and eliminate sudden increases in interest rates and late fees that have entangled millions of consumers.

The legislation passed by a bipartisan vote of 357-70 following lobbying by President Barack Obama and members of his administration.

The measure would prohibit so-called double-cycle billing and retroactive rate hikes and would prevent companies from giving credit cards to anyone under 18.

If they become law, the new measures won't take effect for a year, except for a requirement that customers get 45 days' notice before their interest rates are increased. That would take effect in 90 days.Similar legislation is before the Senate, where its prospects appear promising.

Consumer advocates and some Democrats have unsuccessfully sought for years to
bring new rules to the industry. "A big vote in the House will create an even bigger momentum as it goes to the Senate," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters.

Before approving the bill, dubbed the Credit Card Holders' Bill of Rights, the House adopted a series of amendments -- some of which were pushed by the White House -- that amplified the restrictions on industry practices.

The House measure incorporates Federal Reserve regulations due to take effect in July 2010 but goes further by adding restrictions for credit cards for college students. Double-cycle billing eliminates the interest-free period for consumers who move from paying the full balance monthly to carrying a balance.


jhwygirl said...

Thanks for this post, Michael...I'll have to get after Cynthia's good friend up north, Montana's shame Dennis Rehberg, for his "No" vote on this consumer-friendly law.

Ugh. Here's to hoping that both of us have a better candidate to vote for next time around.

Michael Shay said...

jhwygirl: What's with Baucus and Tester voting with Barrasso and Enzi against the mortgage law?