Friday, May 01, 2015

Congress Divides Into 2 Camps-- Those Supporting Military Families And Those Supporting Predatory Lenders


Lou Vince-- progressive congressional candidate for CA-25

The Military Times super-serves a very specific readership. A few days ago they went into overdrive because conservatives made it clear that there is an expansion of legislation Elizabeth Warren has pushed that they want to destroy-- protection for military families from predatory lenders. House Republicans sensed they had the opportunity to wreck that. It's coming up on election time and they are eager to show Wall Street they will throw anyone under the bus, even military families being systematically victimized, on behalf of the generous banksters. Republicans, they reported, were "attempting to stall a sweeping Defense Department policy change that would give troops more protection from high-cost debt."
Last September, defense officials proposed new rules that would expand the types of credit covered by the maximum 36-percent interest rate that can be charged to service members and their dependents.

The new rules, which have not yet been published in the Federal Register, would apply to most forms of credit, including credit cards, deposit advance loans, installment loans and unsecured open-end lines of credit.

..."This is a clear attempt to delay" the final rule, said Tom Feltner, director of financial services for the Consumer Federation of America. "The final rule has already been well-researched by DoD."

As previously mandated by Congress, DoD has already reported to lawmakers on the need to expand the implementation of the Military Lending Act-- a full year ago, in April 2014.

"We're hoping members of the House Armed Services Committee will stand with service members on this and not with payday lenders," Feltner said.
Yesterday, after a good deal of noisy press scared the crap out of the GOP, the delay was narrowly defeated in the House Armed Services Committee. Only 5 Republicans stood up for the troops and their families and crossed the aisle to vote with the Democrats. Republicans Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Steve Russell (R-OK), Rich Nugent (R-FL), Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) and Chris Gibson (R-NY) were the only Republicans on the committee willing to stand up to the extremists and greedballs. Some endangered GOP incumbents who are fighting for the political lives-- Bill Shuster (R-PA), Mike Coffman (R-CO) and Steve "I'll drop your ass" Knight (R-CA)-- jeopardized their own reelections by screwing over military families.
House lawmakers narrowly voted to remove controversial language delaying new rules on payday lenders from their annual defense authorization bill early Thursday morning, calming concerns from advocates who saw the move as potentially undoing financial protections for military families.

By a 32 to 30 vote, members of the House Armed Services Committee stripped provisions from the legislation that would have delayed Defense Department plans to expand the scope of the 2006 Military Lending Act by requiring a new report due next spring on DoD's rule-making procedures in that regard.

Opponents of the clause said the rules are already long overdue, and accused supporters of giving predatory lenders a new opportunity to victimize troops.

"Each day we delay, we put more service members in harm's way," said Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., who led efforts to remove the provisions.
Joe Heck (R-NV), chairman of the Armed Services Committee's Military Personnel panel, is worried that the Pentagon is putting too much effort into protecting military families and not enough effort into protecting payday lenders-- perhaps as many as 40,000 of them who make a living by ripping off active-duty servicemen and women and their dependents. Joe Heck and his GOP cronies want to make sure their businesses are not trampled on just because they're crooks. Heck voted to slow down (kill) the process. "This has already been a long and drawn-out process," said Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA). "We're not allowing (troops) to fall victim to predatory lenders. We know they're out there." Heck maneuvered to call the vote at 4 AM yesterday, but he failed to persuade the 5 Republicans to switch their votes and crap on the troops.

Yesterday, progressive former LAPD officer Lou Vince declared for the House seat that right-wing fanatic Steve Knight accidentally won last November. CA-25 is now a Democratic majority seat and Vince has a better than ever chance to win in this northern L.A. County/eastern Ventura County district. Knight, one of the most ideologically motivated extremists in the whole Congress, voted against the fighting men and women and their families. Lou would have voted with the bipartisan majority that defeated the attempt to kill the regulations. "I'm relieved a handful of Republicans crossed the aisle and helped the Democrats save the day for military families. Protecting the men and women who are on the front lines protecting us is not a partisan issue, and Steve Knight needs to explain to Simi Valley, Santa Clarita Valley and Antelope Valley voters-- regardless of party-- why he decided to side with the payday lenders instead of our own military families. This is the first day of my campaign, but I'm ready to vow right now that when I'm in Congress I will never take the side of bankers and Wall Street and campaign donors over the interests of the ordinary struggling men and women of this district. Never."

Lou, a Marine veteran himself, found himself very much in agreement with other congressional vets on the committee, like Seth Moulton (D-MA), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Tim Walz (D-MN), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Mark Takai (D-HI) and Ruben Gallego (D-AZ). Gallego told his own constituents in Phoenix why he felt so strongly about the legislation. "Military members and our families are more vulnerable to predatory lenders. I voted to strike the Republican provision that would delay implementation of new rules that seek to protect military members and our families. Every day that we wait to implement regulations, more military families get saddled with outrageous loans they can’t afford. It’s a shame that Republicans would rather cater to special interests and give in to the banking industry than side with our men and women in uniform. Above all else, we need to protect the men and women who are putting their lives on the line for our country’s freedom and safety."

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