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Who Should Get the Praise for the Credit Card Bill?

The credit card bill that passed the Senate is less a set of new rules defined by legislation than an acceleration of new rules decreed by the Federal Reserve. Last December, the Federal Reserve set out a pretty sweeping series of regulations (CreditCards.com had a nice rundown here). But the new rules wouldn't go into effect until July 2010.

The House bill largely replicated the Federal Reserve's rules. The Senate bill slightly strengthened them and sped up the implementation. Congress, in effect, is taking credit for the Federal Reserve's work. The substance of their reforms were already, thanks to the Fed, a fait accompli. The credit card industry couldn't avert the substance of the changes. But this way, politicians get to brag about the reforms in the next election cycle rather than letting a grateful public waste its thanks on faceless regulators.

By Ezra Klein  |  May 20, 2009; 10:37 AM ET
Categories:  Economic Policy  
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Comments

The Fed Rules issued last year were based upon a bill that passed the House in the 110th Congress but was not acted upon in the Senate. So to say the House replicated the Fed's rules is true, but only to the extent the Fed rules themselves were based upon a bill the House had already passed, but which had not enacted into law.

Posted by: J-D-M-S | May 20, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Although presumably the Fed Rules did not include legalizing loaded handguns in National Parks. Watch out Yogi Bear.

Posted by: scott1959 | May 20, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

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