Lindsey Graham Goes to Bat for Payday Lenders in Senate (After They Gave Him More Than $35k)

Senator Introduces Congressional Review Act Legislation to Stop the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Tough New Rules for Payday Lenders

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced S.J.Res. 56, Congressional Review Act legislation that would repeal the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) tough new rule protecting consumers from the worst abuses of payday lenders and forbid the bureau from pursuing similar rules in the future. In response, consumer watchdog group Allied Progress released the following statement:

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s rule takes a common-sense approach to end the debt trap and protect consumers. It took years to get here, and with victory now in sight, payday lending industry-backed politicians like Sen. Lindsey Graham—who has been showered with tens of thousands of dollars in campaign cash from industry—are attempting to reverse course and pay back their predatory benefactors,” said Karl Frisch, executive director of Allied Progress.

He continued, “For years, the payday lending industry has plied powerful politicians at every level of government with campaign contributions – they’ve spent even more on lobbying and efforts to stymie regulators at the CFPB. Make no mistake this industry will do whatever it takes to keep their predatory racket humming along. Millions of Americans are counting on us to fight back and protect these important new rules – and that is exactly what we are going to do. We will fight back and we will win.”

Sen. Graham has taken $35,800 in campaign contributions from the payday lending industry including $12,200 from World Acceptance Corporation, a controversial predatory lender that was under investigation by the CFPB until the case was dropped when Mick Mulvaney became the bureau’s “acting director.” Like Graham, Mulvaney also received thousands in campaign cash from World Acceptance Corporation.

Sen. Graham and Predatory Lenders

  • Graham has taken $35,800 in campaign contributions from payday lenders. [Payday Lenders, Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 03/23/18]
  • In March 2005, Graham voted against an amendment that discouraged predatory practices by “bar[ring] high-cost mortgage lenders from using the bankruptcy courts to collect debts on loans they made in violation of federal predatory lending laws.” The amendment was rejected 40-58. [“Specter Floats Idea of Raising Bankruptcy Fees to Pay Judges,” National Journal’s CongressDaily, 03/04/05; S.Amdt.38 to S.256, Senate Vote 22, 03/03/05]
  • In March 2015, Graham voted against an amendment “that would create a deficit-neutral reserve fund to allow for legislation that would ensure the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has the authority and autonomy to protect consumers from predatory lending, misleading or abusive behavior, or other unscrupulous practices in the financial marketplace.” The amendment was rejected 46-54. [CQ Vote Report, S Con Res 11, Congressional Quarterly, 03/26/15; S.Amdt.842 to S.Con.Res.11, Senate Vote 117, 03/26/15.]

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