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Senate Shoots Down Rate Caps on Credit Cards

To no one’s surprise, the Senate on Wednesday killed a proposal to cap credit card rates at 15 percent. The count was 33 to 60 on a procedural vote to allow the

Paolo Reyna
News
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | May 14, 2009

To no one’s surprise, the Senate on Wednesday killed a proposal to cap credit card rates at 15 percent. The count was 33 to 60 on a procedural vote to allow the bill to proceed.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who sponsored the amendment, said the proposal would “end usury in the United States of America.”

“This amendment is very simple,” Sanders said just before the vote. “It says that now, when the American taxpayer is spending hundreds of billions of dollars bailing out Wall Street, they should not be lending the American people their own money at usurious rates.”

Afterward, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) speculated that the measure failed, not because lawmakers oppose the concept, but because they thought that 15 percent was too low a cap. Dodd vowed to offer a separate amendment asking federal regulators “to give us a comprehensive review of what national rates there ought to be.”

“I don’t think we’re going to resolve that matter on this bill,” Dodd said. “But we ought to have some clear idea as to how we can put some restraints on national usury laws.”

Paolo Reyna | Paolo is a senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, majoring in International Studies with a Latin American emphasis. During the fall semester of 2012, he had the opportunity to study abroad in Peru, which piqued his interest in international growth. He learned about the disparities that impact indigenous peoples, got a taste of Peruvian culture, and improved his Spanish skills. Mitchel interned with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, conducting research on food security in Latin America, after being inspired by his foreign experience. He wants to work in international development and for a government department, writing legislation. He loves playing intramural basketball and practicing for the Chicago marathon when he is not thinking about current events in Latin America.

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