Congressman Bill Pascrell

Representing the 9th District of NEW JERSEY

Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights Act of 2009

Apr 29, 2009
Floor Speech


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   Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Chairman, that was, to my good friend from Alabama, the best apologist presentation that I have heard in a long time.

   The very same people stood on the floor of this House and condemned folks trying to get a part of the American dream in buying a house and then finding out they couldn't afford it, condemned those people. Not the folks who loaned them the money, not the many unscrupulous people. I have heard it before and will hear it again, I am sure.

   There has to be a balance, and I would agree. The question is we've gone out of balance, and no one can deny looking at the data of the past 20 years that we have reduced our standards, there have been financial products that nobody has overseen, and I place the blame on both political parties. Neither party is privy to virtue on this. We'll stand for the consumer this time. Hopefully we'll get it past this House and we will get it past the Senate. That's necessary.

   We have before us here legislation which would give consumers protection against credit card abuses. That's what we are targeting here. And this is at a time when Americans are sick and tired of being the victims of a crafty and fatally opportunistic financial sector. You may defend that sector. You have all of the right to do it. Thank God we're in America.

   Americans are discovering that even if they pay their bills, their interest rates still get jacked through the roof. Even if you pay your bills. The credit card industry and some Members have been quick to condemn this legislation. But today, I ask those who have spoken against the legislation, what possible detriment is there in increasing transparency in the imposition of fees? How can we possibly be against empowering Americans for taking control of their credit card finances?