At Least Twice, the High-Profile Congresswoman Has Taken Official Actions to Benefit Industry Just Before or Soon After Receiving Thousands of Dollars in Payday Lender Political Contributions
MIAMI, FL – Today, Allied Progress is launching “Debt Trap Debbie,” a new campaign targeting Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) for joining conservatives in Congress by standing with payday lenders. The campaign includes a new television ad running in her home state and a new online petition at DebtTrapDebbie.com calling on Wasserman Schultz to “stop sabotaging President Obama’s hard work to hold payday lenders accountable.”
“The difference between Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s relationship with payday lenders and the average borrower’s relationship with payday lenders could not be more stark,” said Allied Progress executive director Karl Frisch. “Rep. Wasserman Schultz is benefitting greatly while borrowers are left holding the bag. It’s time for her to quit trying to sabotage President Obama’s hard work to hold payday lenders accountable and instead join him in standing up for hardworking Florida families.”
New research compiled by Allied Progress shows that Wasserman Schultz has received over $68,000 in contributions from payday lenders during her congressional career, including $28,000 in the 2010 election cycle and more than $5,000 already in the 2016 cycle. In fact, at least twice she has received thousands of dollars in political contributions from payday lenders just before or soon after taking official actions to benefit the industry.
Recent reports have outlined efforts by Wasserman Schultz to hinder forthcoming protections from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that would provide borrowers with improved safeguards against high-interest, predatory payday and installment lending that traps millions of people in cycles of debt. Wasserman Schultz is a co-sponsor of a bill (H.R. 4018) that would delay these new measures from the CFPB while paving the way for payday lenders to continue preying on vulnerable borrowers.
While Wasserman Schultz has pointed to legislation in Florida as a model for payday lending regulations, research from the Pew Charitable Trusts shows the average payday loan interest rate in Florida is more than 300% and the typical Florida borrower takes out nine payday loans in a year – essentially taking out new payday loans to pay off old payday loans.
Voiceover Script From the 30-second Ad, “Debt Trap Debbie” (Watch Here)
President Obama was right when he condemned predatory payday lenders for “trapping hard-working Americans into a vicious cycle of debt.” With interest rates over 300 percent. But now Debbie Wasserman Schultz is joining Republicans in standing up for payday lenders. After she received over $68,000 in campaign cash from them. Go to Debt Trap Debbie dot com and tell her not to sabotage President Obama’s hard work to hold payday lenders accountable.
# # #
To speak with Allied Progress about this release, please contact our press team.
Allied Progress uses hard-hitting research and creative campaigns to hold powerful special interests accountable and empower hardworking Americans.