Even though recent surveys indicate that the overwhelming majority of Americans want more regulation of payday lending, federal lawmakers are attempting to strip the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of any authority over these short-term, high-cost loans. [More]
Faith-based community organizations are among the loudest voices in the battle against predatory lending practices like payday loans. And while most of their efforts are on education and local reforms, a coalition of these groups is thinking nationally, calling on Congress, including the chair of the Democratic National Party, to rethink their support a pro-payday loan piece of legislation. [More]
It’s never a good sign for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau when it’s called to testify at a Congressional subcommittee hearing subtitled “The CFPB’s Assault on Access to Credit and Trampling of State and Tribal Sovereignty.” And so it should come as little surprise that bank-backed members of the House Financial Services Committee is trying to paint the agency’s efforts to rein in predatory lending as an attack on the very people the CFPB is trying to protect. [More]
Uber Halts Operations In Kansas After Legislature Votes To Mandate Background Checks, Insurance Coverage
It seems like every few months a new city or state announces it will no longer allow Uber to operate in its jurisdiction. But in a slight change of pace, the ride-sharing company is actually taking itself out of the equation in Kansas. [More]
For-profit colleges have been dominating the news cycle lately; from a newly proposed “gainful employment” rule to federal agencies suing schools for deceptive marketing tactics. The fight to rein in these sometimes predatory higher-education institutions doesn’t appear to be losing steam. Legislation proposed last week aims to improve the coordination between federal agencies that oversee the industry, while providing student with a list of unsavory schools.
Remember how they always told you TV rots your brain? Surely they (whoever “they” are, we all have our theories) would be quite shocked to hear that a healthy TV diet helped a bunch of doctors solve a medical mystery and save a patient. All thanks to the show House M.D., starring the inimitable Hugh Laurie. [More]
Is it breezy in here or is the combined sighs of relief we’re feeling from college students and parents now that the Congress has reached a compromise on student loan rates? After weeks of the Senate trying to wangle a way to retroactively keep those rates down, the House voted yesterday to approve a compromise from the Senate, which will tie interest rates to the dips and dives of the financial markets. [More]
If you’re looking for a good read tonight, try curling up with a cup of herbal tea, some Nilla Wafers, and the PDF of the House Health Reform bill. (warning: opens extremely large PDF) If 1,018 pages is too much reading for tonight, you can look over this one-page PDF on the public insurance option included in the bill, or read first impressions from Consumers Union and the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein. [Consumer Reports Health]
The House Energy and Commerce Committee just approved comprehensive food safety reform, setting it up for consideration on the House floor in the coming months. The Food Safety Enhancement Act was approved by voice vote, indicating bipartisan support and suggesting a relatively smooth passage through the entire House.
The Food and Drug Administration might actually be able to protect us from dangerous food if Congress passes a bill recently circulated by six powerful members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The draft legislation would finally empower the FDA to quarantine suspect foods and slap violators with both civil fines and criminal charges.
The House Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law is currently holding a hearing on forced arbitration and credit cards, appropriately titled “Federal Arbitration Act: Is the Credit Card Industry Using It To Quash Legal Claims?” Our friends at Public Citizen will be testifying. You can view (or at least listen to) the Real Player stream here.
The Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights is back in the news, and with Congress considering the legislation, we offer a refresher on what’s in this bill and why it’s important.
The House this week voted to empower the FDA to regulate tobacco, just in case people still smoke even after new taxes push the cost of cigarettes to over $9 per pack and the recession bankrupts everyone. Under the measure, which passed 298-112, the FDA would be able to set nicotine levels, control cigarette advertising, and require companies to provide a full list of cigarette ingredients. As usual, the killjoys in the Senate may force the House to smoke a light version of the cigarette bill…
The Senate’s Sergeant at Arms, Terry Gainer, joined Facebook to deliver a picture perfect apology to the survivors of the so-called Purple Tunnel of Doom, a group of several thousand people who were kept out of President Obama’s inauguration even though they had tickets. It takes a superior apology to address a colossal failure, and Gainer certainly delivered. The sincerity and completeness of the apology easily make it one of the best mea culpas we’ve ever seen.