White House bashes GOP effort to delay regs on predatory loans to troops

White House bashes GOP effort to delay regs on predatory loans to troops
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The White House on Monday bashed a House Republican attempt to reinstate language in the defense policy bill that would delay Pentagon regulations meant to make it more difficult for payday loan lenders to target troops with predatory lending practices.  

Rep. Steve StiversSteven (Steve) Ernst StiversHouse Dem campaign chief presses GOP on banning use of hacked materials Trump is wrong, Dems are fighting to save Medicare and Social Security Hillicon Valley: Ex-Trump campaign adviser gets 14 days in jail | Tesla stocks fall after Elon Musk smokes weed on video | Dem, GOP talks over hacked info break down | Russian extradited over massive financial hack | Whole Foods workers trying to unionize MORE (R-Ohio) is planning to propose a floor amendment to the annual defense policy bill this week to stall the new Pentagon regulations.

“It’s almost too difficult to believe you would have a member of Congress looking to carry water for the payday loan industry and allow them to target in a predatory fashion military families who in many cases are already in a vulnerable financial state," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said. 

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White House principal deputy press secretary Eric Schultz also tweeted during the briefing, "odd that a Congressman would do their bidding."

Stivers' amendment would undo a successful effort by Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) to strike language appearing in the House Armed Services Committee's draft of the bill that delayed the Pentagon regulations.

Republicans argue the Duckworth language could punish legitimate businesses. 

"The concern is that there are legitimate products out there that may inadvertently get caught up in this expanded rule," said Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.). "And all this language does is request further information based on the study that's already been completed that was not included in the report," he said. 

Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) added, "I would quickly point that there are always unintended consequences," citing concerns of "drying up sources of credit for folks at the bottom end of the economic scale." 

Stivers has been one of the payday lending industry's favorite members, according to a Huffington Post article. 

Payday loan companies have contributed $69,625 to Stivers' reelection campaigns in 2012 and 2014, according to the Huffington Post report.

"The fact that payday lenders aggressively and shamelessly market to military families is well documented," Duckworth said during the April 29 markup session. "The Defense Department identified predatory lending as the single biggest financial challenge facing service members and their families." 

Stivers defended his amendment Tuesday evening in a statement. 

"As a member of the military for almost 30 years, protecting servicemen and women and their families is important to me." he said.

"My amendment would not change any consumer protections, but instead would ensure that the system actually works on day one. The Obama Administration has a failed record in similar systems, including the failed roll out of healthcare.gov. If this new system doesn't work, it cannot protect anyone," he said. 

 

-- Updated at 12:03 a.m.