Apr 23, 2009
Hensarling Fights to Allow Credit Card Companies to Increase Rates on Texans Who Lost Their Jobs
In a bizarre display of just how out of touch he really is, Congressman Jeb Hensarling made an impassioned plea to help credit card companies exploit Texans who have lost their jobs.
"At a time when Americans are doing everything they can to get by, Congressman Jeb Hensarling is focused on helping credit card companies get rich off of Texans who have lost their jobs," said Jessica Santillo, Southern Regional Press Secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "Congressman Hensarling's latest outburst shows he is painfully out of touch with the challenges facing Texans in today's economy."
Congressman Hensarling tried to gut the Credit Card Holders' Bill of Rights yesterday by fighting for changes that would allow credit card companies to retroactively increase the interest rate on existing balances. As a result, Americans who are struggling to pay off their credit card bill could suddenly be charged more for purchases they already made.
Congressman Hensarling said, "maybe, unfortunately, the local plant shut down and you've been laid off. Well that's a job for the federal government to provide an adequate safety net. It's not necessarily a job for the credit card company."
Congressman Hensarling's proposal was rejected.
The Credit Card Holders' Bill of Rights will protect cardholders against arbitrary interest rate hikes, due-date gimmicks, unfair penalties, and other deceptive practices.
- Congressman Hensarling said, "maybe unfortunately the local plant shut down and you've been laid off. Well that's a job for the federal government to provide an adequate safety net. It's not necessarily a job for the credit card company to reassign that risk to a borrower who is less risky." [Congressman Jeb Hensarling, Financial Services Committee, 4/22/09]
- Congressman Hensarling sponsored an amendment that would allow rate increases on existing balances and also would allow "double-cycle" billing [Amendment 201]. The amendment was not agreed to.
- Congressman Hensarling also sponsored an amendment that would allow a creditor to increase the APR on existing balances [Amendment 202]. The amendment was not agreed to.
- Congressman Hensarling voted to block the Credit Card Holders' Bill of Rights from coming out of the Financial Services Committee [Record vote no. FC-16, 4/22/09]
- The Credit Card Holders Bill of Rights would protect consumers from unfair and deceptive practices [Summary of Credit Card Holders Bill of Rights].
- The unemployment rate in Texas is 6.7 % [March 2009 unemployment rate].