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 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.”