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Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota: The single Democratic vote in Senate against credit card bill [View All]

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Amerigo Vespucci Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 04:51 PM
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Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota: The single Democratic vote in Senate against credit card bill
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Senate OKs bill to reign in credit card practices

by ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writer Anne Flaherty, Associated Press Writer 7 mins ago

WASHINGTON The Senate voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to rein in credit card rate increases and excessive fees, hoping to give voters some breathing room amid a recession that has left hundreds of thousands of Americans jobless or facing foreclosure. The House was on track to pass the measure as early as Wednesday, paving the way for President Barack Obama to see the bill on his desk by week's end.

"This is a victory for every American consumer who has ever suffered at the hands of a credit card company," said Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., chairman of the Banking Committee. The bill passed the Senate 90-5.

If enacted into law as expected, the credit card industry would have nine months to change the way it does business: Lenders would have to post their credit card agreements on the Internet and let customers pay their bills online or by phone without an added fee. They'd also have to give consumers a chance to spare themselves from over-the-limit fees and provide 45 days notice and an explanation before interest rates are increased.

Some of these changes are already on track to take effect in July 2010, under new rules being imposed by the Federal Reserve. But the Senate bill would put these changes into law and go further in restricting the types of bank fees and who can get a card.

Voting against the Senate measure were GOP Sens. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Robert Bennett of Utah, Jon Kyl of Arizona and John Thune of South Dakota, as well as Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090519/ap_on_go_co/us_congress_credit_cards
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