Dreier, McClintock Stand With Usurers Over Credit Cardholders

The banksters still have a powerful sway over members of Congress.  Yesterday, they stopped cramdown in the Senate, which would have allowed bankruptcy judges to treat primary residences the same way as yachts and vacation homes in a bankruptcy.  And there was much rejoicing.

On the same day, the House bucked the trend, passing the Credit Cardholder’s Bill of Rights by a wide, bipartisan margin.

In 2008, credit card issuers imposed $19 billion in penalty fees on families with credit cards and this year, card companies will break all records for late fees, over-limit charges, and other penalties, pulling in more than $20.5 billion. Credit-card debt in the U.S. has reached a record high of nearly $1 trillion – and almost half of American families currently carry a balance, and for those families the average balance was $7,300. One-fifth of those carrying credit-card debt pay an interest rate above 20 percent […]

The Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act passed today levels the playing field between card issuers and cardholders by applying common-sense regulations that would ban retroactive interest rate hikes on existing balances, double-cycle billing, and due-date gimmicks. It would also increase the advance notice of impending rate hikes, giving cardholders the information they need and rights to make decisions about their financial lives. Our economic recovery depends on a shared prosperity – and we must put an end to these abusive practices that continue to drive so many Americans deeper and deeper into debt.

I’m glad this ends double-cycle billing, where cardholders pay interest on debt that they’ve already paid off, and forces credit card companies to allocate payment to the debt with the highest interest rate.  But overall, these are very modest protections that simply prohibit the credit card companies from ripping off the American people.  And 105 Republicans agreed yesterday.  But among those who didn’t we’re the usual suspects of arch-conservative Yacht Party wingers like Tom McClintock, joined by supposed “moderate” David Dreier.

Of course, as Dick Durbin noted yesterday, the bankers who own the Senate will return to try and ditch this bill.  They’ve killed the same legislation before, and Harry Reid didn’t exactly sound confident this time around.  But I want to focus on Dreier and McClintock, both of whom and their pals in the GOP caucus have been well and truly bought by banking interests in exchange for votes like this.

Ed Royce (CA-40- $2,506,414)

David Dreier (CA-26- $2,118,538)

Gary Miller (CA-42- $765,988)

Devin Nunes (CA-21- $499,235)

Kevin McCarthy (CA-22- $461,138)

Tom McClintock (CA-04- $353,294)

Here’s what newly-announced candidate Russ Warner had to say about this yesterday:

Dreier will once again be forced to face a top rate challenge in 2010, Russ Warner, who has every intention of making sure voters from Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, and Claremont to San Dimas, Monrovia, Sierra Madre, San Marino and La Crescenta know that Dreier is strictly a representative of the special interests that have done such grievous damage to the state’s economy and to the financial well-being to his own constituents. “Time and time again,” Russ told us this morning after going over the vote yesterday, “David Dreier proves the interests of his corporate donors take precedent over the people he was elected to serve. Dreier’s never felt the pressure of supporting a family and has lived off the taxpayer dime for nearly three decades, so its not surprising he has no idea how harmful these predatory credit card companies are.”

And the D-Trip backed Warner up today by launching a Web ad highlighting Dreier’s vote.

We’re going to have to fight in the Senate to make sure this passes.  But this vote should not be forgotten next year.  Everyone has felt the pinch from credit card usurers, and so votes like this are signatures, marks of where you stand.  Hopefully Warner and whoever challenges these other Republicans will use it.

4 thoughts on “Dreier, McClintock Stand With Usurers Over Credit Cardholders”

  1. Hope all those Placer County Republicans are happy now. They can stop whining about those high credit card interest rates and fees now even though they paid their bills on time!

    I can guarantee that voters will not be allowed to remember this anti-constituent vote (just one of many in the last three months).

    Each Democratic Central Committee in CD-4 needs to do whatever is necessary to hammer this vote home with every voter (Dem, Rep or Decline To State). The tie to the 1/3 million dollar plus “donations to McClintock” by the banking industry is just a bonus.

    Thanks for this post. Where would we be without you?

  2. I live in his district.  It would take a stellar campaign from Warner to win (which I don’t think he can run, at least based on his last one).  There simply are too many rich small business owners and cowboy-types around here.  Joe the Plumber would fit right in here.

    That said, I wish Warner the best.  Step one, get a better Internet presence than last time.  

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