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Washington
Credit card bill passes in House
WASHINGTON (9/24/08)—The U.S. House of Representatives voted 312-112 to approve H.R. 5244, the Credit Card Holders Bill of Rights, intended to ban abusive and deceptive credit card practices. The vote came amid a hail storm of House votes on suspensions items—about 69 over a two-day period. H.R. 5244 was one of only a few bills outside the suspension calendar, which is reserved for bills considered noncontroversial, to make it onto the House floor for a vote. H.R. 5244 was introduced by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and was approved by the House Financial Services Committee in July. In addition to the Maloney bill, in the Senate the chairman of the banking committee, Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn), has introduced similar legislation (S. 3252). Also in the mix, the Federal Reserve Board, the Office of Thrift Supervision and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) issued a joint proposal that addresses several of the concerns raised in the legislation. It is expected that the agencies will finalize their plan by the end of the year. The Credit Union National Association has recommended to Maloney that "it may be more prudent to let the regulatory process run its course prior to legislating a remedy." And in fact, that may well be what Capitol Hill intends. Just prior to the committee vote on the Maloney bill, the July 30 issue of American Banker noted that lawmakers may be meaning the House vote to send regulators a prod to continue work on their proposed crackdown on abusive lending practices.


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