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.
Web Politics Editor
May 13, 2009; 11:57 AM ET
Categories: B_Blog , Economy
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