Magazine article American Banker

Long Odds Seen for Bill to Control Card Practices

Magazine article American Banker

Long Odds Seen for Bill to Control Card Practices

Article excerpt

Byline: Stacy Kaper

WASHINGTON - Rep. Carolyn Maloney's effort to rein in common credit card practices appeared to unravel during a House Financial Services Committee vote Thursday, but supporters said she could claim victory anyway.

Several lawmakers - including supporters like House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass. - acknowledged the bill had no chance of becoming law, since the Senate is likely finished legislating for the year.

Other members, including some Democrats, argued that the panel should not be voting on the bill at all before the Federal Reserve Board finalizes a plan to crack down on unfair and deceptive card practices.

The committee delayed its vote on Rep. Maloney's bill until late Thursday. The vote had not taken place by press time, and the bill's ultimate fate was unclear.

Rep. Frank said that he doubted the legislation would pass, and that the committee was more likely to approve an amendment from Rep. Mike Castle, R-Del., that would gut the bill and substitute it with a congressional resolution supporting the Fed's proposal.

"I think they probably have the votes" for the Castle amendment, Rep. Frank told reporters during a break in the debate. "They have almost all the Republicans and a few of the Democrats. I don't think that I'm going to vote out this bill, but we're going to know in a few hours."

Rep. Maloney said the resolution was not enough.

"Congress is in the Constitution, and the Fed is not," the New York Democrat said. "This Congress and this majority should not wait for the administration to act, but should lead. We should not abdicate our responsibility to others."

Rep. Frank sought to praise Rep. Maloney, who has had little legislative success since becoming the House Financial Services financial institutions subcommittee chairwoman last year. …

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