Military consumers have narrow escape on Capitol Hill

It’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t pay lip service to honoring military personnel but on this Memorial Day weekend, it’s worth taking time out to note that there are also plenty of unscrupulous businesses that are only too happy to take advantage of servicemembers, aided by their friends on Capitol Hill.

Congress talks a good game but, when not attending Memorial Day parades and fund-raisers, House Republicans were hard at work on behalf of the banking industry this year, trying to delay new rules that shield servicemembers from predatory loans…

In an executive order, President Obama authorized changes to the rules that would cap most loans to military personnel at 36%.

Sorry President Obama, but 36% is still too high.  In my opinion, that’s an interest rate charged by a loan shark.

This set off a flurry of activity in the House Armed Service Committee, whose chairman, Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.) threw his weight behind a measure that would have indefinitely delayed the new rule, supposedly to make time for more study. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) had already conducted a study based on more than 5,000 complaints of financial abuse it had received from military members by July 2013.

The blocking tactic was tucked into annual legislation that sets policy for the Department of Defense. But consumer adocates “outed” the measure and Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), an Iraqi War veteran, introduced legislation striking the banker-backed provision…

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