The DNC chair isn’t the first Democrat to defend payday lenders. A handful of House Financial Services Committee members consistently join the GOP’s payday loan boosterism. But support from such backbenchers has been politically impotent. Wasserman Schultz, by contrast, is the nominal head of the Democratic Party. Her support undercuts efforts by liberals in Congress to draw contrasts with Republicans on economic issues.
The misleadingly titled Consumer Protection and Choice Act would delay the CFPB’s payday lending rules by two years, and nullify its rules in any state with a payday lending law like the one adopted in Florida. The memo being passed around by Wasserman Schultz staffers describes the Florida state law as a “model” for consumer laws on payday loans, and says the CFPB should “adjust their payday lending rules to take into account actions Florida has already taken.”
Consumer groups are appalled by the bill. The Consumer Federation of America, the NAACP, The National Consumer Law Center, The National Council of La Raza, The Southern Poverty Law Center and hundreds of others wrote a letter to every member of Congress in December urging them to oppose the legislation.