Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Chris Dodd And Credit Card Protection Legislation


Unlike Republican hypocrites, Chris Dodd opposes usury

Yesterday Jeff Merkley told us that the Senate Banking Committee would mark up the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act. This is a bill written by Committee chair Chris Dodd and co-sponsored by Senator Merkley. The purpose is to help protect consumers from confusing, misleading and predatory practices by credit card companies. Provisions:
•    Protect consumers from “any time, any reason” interest rate
increases and account changes;
•    Prohibit unfair application of card payments;
•    Protect cardholders who pay on time;
•    Limit abusive fees and penalties;
•    Prohibit issuers from using a consumer’s card history with another
creditor to raise interest rates (“universal default” ban);
•    Prohibit issuers from charging interest on debt that has already
been repaid;
•    Ensure that cardholders are informed of the terms of their account;
•    Protect young consumers from aggressive credit card solicitations.

It's ironic that Fox "News" has declared jihad against Dodd and allows Hannity to force his guests to swear an oath that they will always refer to the Senator as a lying weasel. It's doubly ironic because while Dodd has taken a great deal of money from the financial/insurance/real estate sector, he tends to fight for consumers over banksters while Hannity's and Fox's favored politicians-- like John McCain (R-AZ- $32,423,813), Rudy Giuliani (R-NY- $16,632,364), Willard Romney (R-UT- $14,650,907), Miss McConnell (R-KY- $5,013,778), Richard Shelby (R-AL- $4,384,492), Spencer Bachus (R-AL- $3,789,474), Eric Cantor (R-VA- $3,121,188), John Boehner (R-OH- $3,045,809) and Paul Ryan (R-WI- $1,555,321) take the money along with a laundry list of policies from the banksters that they work to enact. Take Dodd's and Merkley's credit card bill. I bet all the GOP whores who gobble up big money from the FIRE sector will vote against it. Fox viewers will never hear a word about it though. Here's a clip Senator Dodd made this morning as he was about to call the hearing to order.

UPDATE: Senate Banking Committee Passes Credit Card Reform Bill

After Chris Dodd got his consumer protection bill through the Banking Committee he blogged about it at My Left Nutmeg.

Although 84 Republicans in the House supported a similar bill, today not even one stinking Republican voted in favor on the Banking Committee. It was a almost pure party line vote with one the banksters worst shills, Richard Shelby, leading the GOP to take up arms against credit card reform. The Republicans on the committee have all been paid off by the banking industry to prevent regulations that would prevent their predatory practices. You think I'm kidding? These are the sleazy batch of crooks politicians who voted for more credit card rip-offs:

Richard Shelby (R-AL- $4,384,492)
Robert Bennett (R-UT- $1,915,892)
Jim Bunning (R-KY- $2,447,635), who is desperate for every bribe he can get his paws on.
Mike Crapo (R-ID- $1,397,092)
Mel Martinez (R-FL- $2,854,110)
Bob Corker (R-TN- $2,682,859)
Jim DeMint (R-SC- $2,073,034)
David Diapers Vitter (R-LA- $1,709,299)
Mike Johanns (R-NE- $644,171, not a reflection of scruples, just that he's been in the Senate for only 90 days)
Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX- $4,685,238)

The ones in bold will be facing the voters next year. Conservative Democrat Tim Johnson (D-SD-$3,020,966) joined the GOP to vote against working families today. Fortunately he was the only Democrat whose bribes effected his vote and the bill passed 12-11. Miss McConnell has vowed to earn every cent ($5,013,778) the banksters have given him by leading a vigorous filibuster against the legislation.

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At 10:45 AM, Blogger Lyle said...

I don't understand why it has taken Sn. Dodd 20 years to do something about it. Neither parties come out good on this.

At 1:08 PM, Blogger Pats said...

Will this also prohibit card issuers from raising the rate on charges AFTER you incurred them? I can't believe it is legal to lend money at 4% and then hike the rate on the entire balance, not just new charges.

At 3:27 PM, Blogger btchakir said...

Me? I'm a Consumer. What does the government do to protect my interests?

After I finished teaching today I had to make a stop at Martin's Food Store over near Interstate 81 in Hagerstown, MD. This is a brand new facility, which is one of the reasons I've started going there. It's clean, well maintained, has great employees who seem to have been trained very well... and it actually makes grocery shopping fun.

Don't get me wrong, this is a very BIG store... I get a lot of exercise just wandering the aisles. It has a nice organic food department, its fresh fruits and veggies are top notch and it has a wonderful meat department, too.

Today I tried their "Easy Shop" program - which strongly emphasizes the trust between store and customer. When I check in by running my Martin's Bonus Card in front of a scanner. Then I am issued a handheld device that I use to read the labels on products as I shop and I take a bunch of bags to put in my cart - I bag things as I buy them. The handheld device keeps track of what I bought, shows me how much I save with my Martin's Bonus Card and gives me the option to put things back if I find better deals on other items.

When I'm done shopping I hold the device in front of the machine that reads them, and it takes my bank card, rings it up, and gives me a receipt. No waiting in lines, no watching register girls and stockboys fool around with my stuff. In about two minutes I'm done. I saved about 10% over all on prices that were lower than other places. When I go outside I went to the Martin's gas station, scanned in my card, and since I spent over $200.00 in the last couple of weeks (I bought my diabetes test strips in their pharmacy last week - as well as a week's worth of groceries and pet supplies), holding my Martin's Bonus card up to the scanner on their gas pump told me I had a 20¢ a gallon discount on what was already the lowest gas price in the area. I saved another $3.00 there compared to buying my gas at the best priced station in Shepherdstown.

So, the point of all this? I had a pleasant and rewarding consumer experience... the first one I'd had all week. Then it made me think: why can't all shopping experiences be like this?

The government has agencies to protect banks, to protect gas companies, to protect major manufacturers, to protect organized laborers... but we have no Dept. of Consumer Affairs on a Federal level. Jimmy Carter tried to get one many years ago, and the lobbyists who protect the big boys I mentioned a moment ago got it squashed.

Now we're here in a major economy disaster and we hear statements from the President and others that we have to get consumers confident in the government and the big suppliers again. Then they'll buy new cars, and they'll buy big appliances, and they'll certainly buy more gas and hotel rooms and plane rides to vacations.

But the trust is NOT there. Why? Because no one is standing up for us at the same level. I don't trust bankers or investment firms or automotive CEOs any more. I don't trust what became Bernie Maddow and I don't trust the GM CEO who had to resign. I don't trust the Republican Conngressfolk who make believe that their party didn't cause most of this, and I don't Trust Democratic Congressfolk who let the Republicans have whatever they wanted over the last decade. I'd like to trust President Obama, but I'm seeing a lot of campaign promises go by the wayside as he is engulfed with all kinds of problems to solve.

But a Secretary of Consumer Affairs? I'd support that in a minute. Hell... I'd volunteer to BE it.

Under The LobsterScope

At 12:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Less Koolaid and more rigor in your research, please. Perhaps you should mention who was instrumental in removing most of the existing credit card consumer protections for the last few decades - the Senator from MNBA - Joseph Biden. It is no accident that the predatory credit card companies flocked to Delaware under Joe's watch - he took very good care of them. After many years of Joe's pork bills, and Frank and Dodd's failure to regulate - all crooks or incompetants in some proportion - it would seem obvious and sensible to be skeptical about their intentions.

At 9:56 AM, Anonymous jpinsatx said...

Re: "Obama is expected to tell the executives today that he wants to go further than the House bill without specifically endorsing all of the provisions of Dodd's bill."

Please pay attention, Mr. President. We need real reform. We need common sense. We need Chris Dodd's "Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act"... Please do not give-in, Please do not water it down... Please Give it Muscle!


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