Allied Progress: “Other members of Congress could learn a thing or two from this demonstration of thoughtful leadership.”
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-FL) announced his support for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) proposed rule to rein in the worst abuses of predatory payday lenders, telling the Tampa Bay Times, “I support the [CFPB]’s action today to exercise its authority to strengthen lending practices nationwide and protect consumers” […] “I will continue to monitor the CFPB’s implementation and enforcement should gaps in consumer protection or access to credit arise, and am hopeful that this will bring much-needed commonsense oversight to prevent abuse from hurting working people across America.”
Allied Progress released the following statement in response:
“Make no mistake – the CFPB’s proposed rule flies in the face of the disastrous ‘Florida model’ of payday lending and H.R. 4018, legislation initially co-authored by Rep. Patrick Murphy,” said Allied Progress executive director Karl Frisch. “That said, the Congressman has shown true leadership and an impressive willingness to more carefully consider the plight of millions of Americans who find themselves trapped in a cycle of debt brought on by predatory payday lenders. He should be applauded for doing the right thing and coming out in support of the CFPB’s proposed rule to rein in the worst abuses of this industry. Other members of Congress could learn a thing or two from this demonstration of thoughtful leadership.”
As the result of Murphy’s statement, Allied Progress announced it will remove him from consideration in its current effort to determine which of the payday lending industry’s allies in Congress it will expose next. On June 7, the organization will announce the next steps of its congressional accountability efforts.
Since last year, Allied Progress has been among those leading the fight to hold the payday lending industry and its powerful allies in Congress accountable. Last September, the organization released a report detailing how a dozen members of Congress were showered with tens of thousands of dollars in payday lender campaign cash within days of taking official actions to benefit the industry. Allied Progress also helped expose the title lender with a shady past who has spent millions of dollars on a pro-payday lending industry ballot measure in South Dakota. For several months, the organization has led rapid response efforts targeting the daily spin and misinformation from the payday lending industry and its allies at think tanks and in Congress.
In March, Allied Progress launched its payday congressional accountability campaign with a television ad targeting Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in her South Florida district and an online petition at DebtTrapDebbie.com calling on her to “stop sabotaging President Obama’s hard work to hold payday lenders accountable.” The organization noted that Wasserman Schultz has received more than $68,000 in contributions from the industry while in Congress and is co-sponsoring a bill that would delay protections for borrowers while paving the way for payday lenders to continue preying on vulnerable Americans. In April, Allied Progress sponsored two billboards in Wasserman Schultz’s district and a mobile billboard in the nation’s capital. She has been aggressively challenged on her payday lending stance in local and national media subsequent to the campaign’s launch. On Tuesday, Allied Progress announced another $100,000 ad buy in South Florida designed to hold Wasserman Schultz accountable for her continued support of the payday lending industry. Earlier this month, Allied Progress released a report detailing how Florida’s political establishment had received more than $2.5 million from payday lenders since 2009. Just last week, the organization released a scathing mini-doc on the “Florida model” of payday lending and began polling its members to help decide which payday lending ally in Congress it should expose next: Alcee Hastings or Patrick Murphy.
In addition to holding key Washington decision makers accountable, Allied Progress has led the fight to expose and hold accountable industry-aligned and deceptively named astroturf front groups like “Protect America’s Consumers” and “Floridians for Financial Choice” that have sought to defend payday lenders and other predatory industries from CFPB regulation.
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