Obama Wants Credit Card Relief Bill by Memorial Day

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted May 9, 2009 7:31 AM CDT

(Newser) – Putting himself on the side of fuming consumers, President Obama is pushing for Congress to send him legislation by Memorial Day that would immediately reign in the credit card industry, he said in his radio address this morning. The House has passed a bill banning several predatory practices, but it doesn’t take effect until next year—and there's no certainty Congress will deliver relief by the end of the month.

Credit-card executives maintain that new restrictions could backfire on consumers, making it harder for banks to offer credit. They say the current House legislation goes far enough. Obama disagrees. "There is no time for delay,” he said. “We need a durable and successful flow of credit in our economy, but we can't tolerate profits that depend upon misleading working families. Those days are over."

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner listens as President Barack Obama makes remarks at the White House, April 23, 2009, after meeting with representatives of the credit card industry.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner listens as President Barack Obama makes remarks at the White House, April 23, 2009, after meeting with representatives of the credit card industry.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., talks about his amendment to the Credit Cardholder's Bill of Rights bill that would cap interest rates on all credit cards at 18 percent on Capitol Hill, April 28, 2009.
Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., talks about his amendment to the Credit Cardholder's Bill of Rights bill that would cap interest rates on all credit cards at 18 percent on Capitol Hill, April 28, 2009.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Visa Inc. on Wednesday, April 29, 2009 said its fiscal second-quarter profit rose nearly 71 percent, beating Wall Street expectations.
Visa Inc. on Wednesday, April 29, 2009 said its fiscal second-quarter profit rose nearly 71 percent, beating Wall Street expectations.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file)
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Americans know that they have a responsibility to live within their means and pay what they owe. But they also have a right to not get ripped off by the sudden rate hikes, unfair penalties and hidden fees.
- Barack Obama

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