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GOP senators block effort to freeze credit card interest rates

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Republican senators on Wednesday blocked an effort to debate a bill that would prevent credit card companies from raising interest rates ahead of new regulations coming into force next year.

The move angered congressional Democrats who were pushing for an emergency freeze on credit card rates.

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“I’m extremely disappointed that the financial health of millions of American taxpayers has been completely brushed aside by a handful of Wall Street banking interests in the US Senate,” Rep. Betsy Markey (D-CO) said, as quoted in the Coloradoan.

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), who heads the Senate Banking Committee, had authored a bill that would have prevented credit card issuers from hiking interest rates ahead of a new law coming into effect in February that restricts how and when rates can be raised.

Earlier this year, Dodd wrote and passed through the Senate the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act, which requires credit card issuers to give customers advance notice before hiking rates and fees.

That bill comes into force in February. But, as news sources reported earlier this year, credit card companies took advantage of the delay to hike interest rates before the bill became law.

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Dodd’s latest bill would freeze credit card rates where they are now until the new law comes into effect next year. It would also require credit card companies to review all interest hikes going back to the beginning of 2009 to see if customers were overcharged.

But when Dodd asked for the Senate’s unanimous consent to discuss the bill, Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MI) “objected on the behalf of several of his GOP colleagues, preventing debate,” reports The Hill.

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“Knowing that the Credit CARD Act would finally protect consumers from these abuses, the industry has tried to make one last grab for their customers’ pocketbooks,” Dodd said Wednesday.

“The reason we allowed a gap period between the passage of the legislation and the imposition of the regulations or the statutory requirements was because the industry came to me and said, you know senator, we’re going to need some time to administer, to change how we provide these kinds of benefits to people. So would you give us a little window here to operate?” Dodd said.

“Unfortunately they’ve taken that window and used it as a way to jam in on the consumers of this country,” Dodd said.

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A Rasmussen poll released Tuesday shows that about half of Americans — 50 percent — saw their credit card interest rates go up in the past six months.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Angry Minnesota farmer bashes ‘insulting’ Trump comments that ‘we’re great patriots’ during his trade war

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President Donald Trump has insulted at least one Minnesota farmer by his claim that farmers are "great patriots" who want him to continue his trade fight against China.

"This wound is self-inflicted, by our president," said Gary Wertish, who is the Minnesota Farm Bureau president. "We definitely agreed with it in the beginning. But it doesn’t appear that there’s a plan B. Some of the callous comments come, especially from the president, you know, that farmers are 'winning,' we’re 'great patriots,' that’s very insulting. That’s coming from someone who never has faced the challenges of a family farmer. I go into the bank and tell the lender I can’t make the payment because we lost our market? The banker is going to tell me you don’t have to make your payment because you’re a patriot."

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MSNBC pundit nails Trump for only attacking Black voices on Fox News

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Democratic strategist Joel Payne called out President Donald Trump Sunday for his attacks on Fox News when he was leaving New Jersey.

Before Trump landed in Marine One at Morristown, New Jersey, he tweeted an attack on Juan Williams, the only Black pundit on the Fox News show "The Five."

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1163167660764532736

Trump briefly addressed Williams, before he told members of the press that he found it appalling Fox News hired a friend of Hillary Clinton's, whose name he couldn't even remember.

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Missouri official choose Dr. Seuss’ ‘Oh the Places You’ll Go’ for swearing-in ceremony instead of ‘The Bible’

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A Missouri county official is being both celebrated and attacked after a decision to forgo The Bible for her swearing-in ceremony and opted for a copy of Oh, The Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss.

The Friendly Atheist at Patheos captured the story, posting a photo of St. Louis City Councilmember Kelli Dunaway's children holding a copy of the book while she took her oath of office.

This was the scene last week at the STLCO government center. Democrats took back control of the council and @DunawayKelli was sworn in on a copy of “Oh the Places you’ll go” with her children❤️ so proud to be part of #TeamKelli pic.twitter.com/iJ1dxfZ1Zg

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