With Deadline Looming, New Ad Pushes Rep. Sessions to Defend CFPB Payday Rule

Six Figure TV Ad Buy Encourages Texas Congressman and His Colleagues to Oppose Efforts to Repeal the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Important Payday Lending Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, consumer watchdog organization Allied Progress launched a six-figure television ad campaign targeting four members of Congress, including Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX). The ads encourage the lawmakers to oppose legislation that would gut the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) important new rule reining in the worst abuses of payday lenders.  The deadline for Congress to act on the legislation is fast approaching.

“The payday lending industry is about one thing and one thing only – pushing those who can least afford it into cycles of debt that are nearly impossible to escape.  In the days ahead, Rep. Sessions will face an important test: will he stand up for consumers and his constituents or will he gut these important protections and let predatory lenders off the hook?,” said Karl Frisch, executive director of Allied Progress.

He continued, “It is hardly surprising that polls show payday lenders are almost universally despised.  What is surprising – even bizarre – is seeing so many D.C. politicians tripping all over themselves to help such an unpopular industry.  The truth is, payday lenders wield tremendous power not only over those they are able to ensnare with their risky financial products, but also over the levers of power in Washington.  Few in Congress have taken more campaign cash from payday lenders than Rep. Sessions. If he votes to strip away these important consumer protections, we will know exactly why.”

The one-week ad buy begins Thursday, May 10 on broadcast and cable television.  In addition to Texas, versions of the spot will also air in Iowa, Kansas, and Maine.  It follows the release of a special report from Allied Progress documenting how more than a dozen members of the U.S. Senate and House (from both parties), including Rep. Sessions, took thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from payday lenders within days of taking official actions to benefit the industry.  The conspicuous timing of the contributions prompted government watchdog group Campaign for Accountability (CfA) to file ethics complaints against two senators and twelve representatives for violations of congressional rules and criminal law.

Sessions/Texas Script – “Safeguard” (WATCH)

“By charging up to 400% interest, payday lenders can afford almost anything. And Pete Sessions is on the top of their list. Sessions received over $225,000 in campaign cash from payday lenders…More than almost any other member of Congress. And was accused of pay-for-play with the payday loan industry. Now, Sessions may vote to gut new safeguards that protect consumers like you from payday loans. Tell Pete Sessions to stand up for us, not payday predators.”

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