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With Credit Card Bill Vote Thurs., White House Makes a Push

By Michael D. Shear
President Obama has ordered his top economic aides to make an aggressive, 24-hour push for passage of a credit card bill of rights that will culminate with his town hall in New Mexico tomorrow morning.

White House advisers Austan Goolsbee, Jared Bernstein and Melody Barnes will take to the airwaves and do multiple radio interviews around the country today making the case for ending large fees, high interest rates and other abusive practices by credit card companies.

Senators are expected to vote tomorrow on a bill that would do just that. The House has already passed a version of the measure.

Industry officials have warned that taking action against them in the middle of an economic crisis could further dampen their ability to loan money, making the downturn worse.

But Obama and members of Congress have largely ignored that warning. Obama told executives of credit card companies in a White House meeting last month that they should get on board with reforms.

Today, the White House also plans to do a series of interviews with columnists and to make calls to the financial editors of major newspapers arguing in favor of the legislation, aides said.

Goolsbee, a member of the Council of Economic Advisers and the staff director and chief economist of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, will videotape an interview with consumerist.com. Bernstein, the vice president's top economist, will videotape an interview with smartmoney.com

And tomorrow, Obama will appear in New Mexico with dozens of local residents who had written to him about their credit card problems. He will be introduced by a New Mexico resident who is struggling with credit card debt, aides said.

Posted at 11:57 AM ET on May 13, 2009  | Category:  Economy
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How can this bill dampen lending when lending is already frozen?

And how can banks who are alive only because of taxpayer bailouts be allowed to use taxpayer funds to lobby? Money is fungible. Without taxpayer funds, these banks would be dead. Only taxpayer funds allow them to lobby.

The same people who said sub-prime mortgages would not default, that CDOs referencing sub-prime MBS really were AAA, now expect us to believe a word they say? Dick Cheney has more credibility than the banks and their marketing affiliates like Cato and Heritage.

Posted by: Garak | May 13, 2009 1:57 PM

"Financial Industries object...."

In short, we destroyed the economy, now let us continue to leach on the last few dollars people are left with in their pocket.

When is the pay restriction on these people going to be in place? They produce nothing, they create nothing, other than handing money from one hand to another. Banking should be boring, they don't need to do clever things. "They can not create weath".

Posted by: SeedofChange | May 13, 2009 1:52 PM

How would Sen. Joe Biden (D-MBNA) have voted?

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 12:52 PM

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