Republicans Pass Bill Enabling Companies To Issue High Interest Predatory Loans To Low-Income Americans
Does anyone still believe that the Republican Party is looking out for the interests of working Americans? If so, that fantasy should be dashed to pieces by a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday. The House Republicans passed a new law that allows companies to issue high interest loans targeting low-income working Americans, despite laws by state and local governments that attempt to prohibit such predatory loans.
Predatory loan companies take advantage of low-income workers when they encounter an emergency – a health crisis in the family, a period of unemployment by one of a family’s two breadwinners, car trouble, a child with special needs. The companies issue high interest loans under terms that make it impossible for the loan ever to be repaid, so that the company keeps on collecting interest payments in perpetuity, far, far beyond the amount of the initial loan. These loans send American families into ruin, but make easy sources of profit for the predatory companies that dish them out.
Yesterday, all but one Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of H.R. 3299, a bill with the misleading title of the Protecting Consumers Access to Credit Act. “Access to Credit” is a euphemism for vulnerability to high-interest loans. Republicans in Congress want people to believe that the biggest economic problem facing low-income working Americans is difficulty in getting loans with annual interest rates of 25%, 30%, 35% and more.
Those Americans who work hard at minimum wage jobs know what the real economic problems of working Americans are: Corporations that refuse to provide benefits, companies that pay shockingly low wages, and the Republicans’ plans to eliminate access to health care, education, and fair terms from financial service providers.
At the same time that Republicans in Congress are making predatory high interest loans legal, the Republican Trump Administration is declaring that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will stop its efforts to protect Americans from the companies that make these predatory loans.
The Republicans who run the federal government are doing everything they can to help powerful corporations take advantage of working Americans, to squeeze every bit of profit out of us, exploiting our vulnerability, kicking us when we’re down.
The Republican Party represents the interests of fat cat financial elites. As far as the GOP is concerned, working Americans can go to hell.