Dodd damned by NYT for not doing what he's doing

An editorial in today’s New York Times criticizes Senator Dodd for attending a dinner at which members of the Online Lender’s Alliance (an industry organization for payday lenders) were present, and then subsequently not acting in consumers’ interests to reform payday lending laws to cap interest rates.

When Arthur Delaney of The Huffington Post went there, he was told it wasn’t an alliance event, although some members would be there. Aides to Mr. Dodd and Mr. Johnson told us the same thing: Forget what it looked like, this was a private fund-raiser by Mr. Johnson for his friend Mr. Dodd, not payday lenders wooing a senator whose committee was considering a bill that could seriously cramp their business.
That bill, sponsored by Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois, caps interest rates on consumer loans at 36 percent. That’s the reasonable limit that Congress placed on loans to members of the armed forces.
It should apply to all American families. Mr. Dodd, who was recently praised after Congress passed a bill limiting abuses by credit-card companies, should follow the same crusading impulse to go after the egregious exploitation of payday loans. He should avoid even the slightest hint that he is cozying up to it

Too bad the New York Times didn’t do a little fact checking first. Because if they had, they would have realized that Chris Dodd is one of the co-sponsors of S.500, Senator Durbin’s bill. In fact, back mid May, Dodd was one of only 33 senators to vote in favor of an amendment proposed by Senator Bernie Saunders that proposed even stricter usury caps (15%) than the Durbin legislation contains (36%).

It’s clear that everything but the kitchen sink is going to be thrown at Dodd in this election cycle. But he at least deserves accurate reporting.

6 responses to “Dodd damned by NYT for not doing what he's doing

  1. AndersonScooper

    The U.S. Senate voted to cap interest rates? Really?

    Sorry, but that vote was done so surreptiously, and with so little fanfare, that one has to question the sincerity of the effort.

    Is Dodd truly unable to get a separate usury bill out of his Senate Banking committee? The committee has 13 Democrats and 10 Republicans, but you have to count South Dakota’s Tim Johnson as a Republican on this issue, making it a slim 12-11 advantage.

    Which Democrats are the potential sell-outs? Evan Bayh (D-IN)? Hawaii’s Akaka? Mark Warner (D-VA)?

    Plus could you get vulnerable Republicans such as Jim Bunning (KY), or David Vitter (LA), to join in capping rates?

    Dodd should push this to a committee vote. It’d be good to know which Democrats need replacing, and it’d be a good campaign/wedge issue for those Republicans up for re-election. Do they vote for the American consumer, or the rapacious Credit Card industry?

    PS– it’s still mind-blowing to know that in a zero-inflation environment, a middle-class family owing $20,000 on their cards could be facing an interest bill of $6,000/year. Where is their bail-out?

  2. PS– it’s still mind-blowing to know that in a zero-inflation environment, a middle-class family owing $20,000 on their cards could be facing an interest bill of $6,000/year. Where is their bail-out?

    They should sue the guy who held a gun to their heads and made them spend beyond their means. Or ask Obama for a “surgical bailout.” Either works.

  3. AndersonScooper

    Okay Dobbs, you’ve never been hand-to-mouth, fallen behind, or lost your job.

    That still isn’t a reason why CC companies should be allowed to rape those who have.

    However God bless the GOP and its anti-regulation, free-market belief in corporate greed.

  4. Sara… did you use any form of healthcare today?

    Did you use money today?

    My guess is that you are more likely to have used money than healthcare… and if you used any sort of healthcare, then you also used money.

    Money is a bigger issue than healthcare and credit cards.

    Please ask Senator Dodd why he continues to oppose auditing the Fed. And ask him if he has yet asked Bernanke for the names of the banks that received the $10 trillion. Because if after a month he hasn’t yet fulfilled his promise to Jane Hamsher, then some people may call him a liar.

    And if Bernanke refused to reveal the names, then why hasn’t Dodd simply issued a subpoena for the names?

    Dodd is central to the biggest issue facing America – monetary policy. And he’s not doing a damn thing about the heart of the problem. Therefore I conclude that Dodd is the problem.

  5. Okay Dobbs, you’ve never been hand-to-mouth, fallen behind, or lost your job.

    Actually, I’ve been all three, and also five digits in credit card debt, before. Not once did I ever ask the Feds for a bailout, or claim that I was in a crisis of someone else’s making — because it was all my fault.

    What’s your point?

  6. AndersonScooper

    My point is that people fall into debt. But that doesn’t mean the lenders should then be able to rape them.

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