Udall Cheers Vote in House to Crack Down on Unfair Credit Card Practices
Udall: Senate Should Take Action Immediately to Protect Consumers, Provide Relief
Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Mark Udall delivered the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill freezing interest rates and moving up a deadline for credit card companies to implement reforms. The House bill passed overwhelmingly by a vote of 331-92 with Rep. Betsy Markey leading the fight. Senator Udall has introduced identical measures in the Senate, and today, he called on his colleagues to approve the bills and provide consumers some relief from unfair credit card practices.
"Every day, I hear from Coloradans who are struggling just to pay the bills. The last thing they need is credit card companies jacking up interest rates and changing terms in order to game the system. Yet that's exactly what's been happening.
"Earlier this year, we passed common-sense reforms that were designed to stop credit card companies from taking advantage of their customers, and we gave them until February to implement the reforms. But instead of using this time to phase out their most egregious practices, credit card companies have hammered American consumers and small businesses with arbitrary interest rate hikes and other unfair practices.
"I want to congratulate my colleagues in the House for passing this bill, particularly Congresswoman Markey, who has been a terrific partner in the effort to freeze credit card interest rates.
"There's still time for the Senate to follow the House's actions, pass this bill and send it to the President for his signature - before the holiday season starts. Consumers need relief, and I urge my colleagues to join me in this fight. This is the classic story of David vs. Goliath - and I'm happy to take on Goliath."
Last month, Senator Udall introduced the Expedited CARD Reform for Consumers Act of 2009, which would require companies to comply with reforms by December 1, 2009. He also co-sponsored a bill that would immediately freeze interest rates on credit cards.
As a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, he pioneered credit card reform as the original author of legislation in 2005. The Udall bill of 2005 was the basis for legislation (the Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights), which passed the House earlier this year. It was merged with a similar Senate bill and signed into law in May.