Timeline: Payday Industry Money Buys Trump Administration Influence

    • June 2, 2016: Former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray proposes a rule on payday loans that would require payday lenders to consider a borrower’s ability to pay back the loan in the time allotted, before approving a loan.

 

    • August-September 2016: The payday industry reportedly uses “scary warnings” and “coercion and pressure” to have its customers write public comments against the payday rule.

 

    • 2016 Election Cycle + Trump Inauguration: Payday loan industry gives $2.2 million to Trump political and inaugural committees and over $1.2 million to Republican congressional campaigns.

 

    • October 5, 2017: Then-CFPB Director Richard Cordray issues a final payday rule, which includes the originally proposed ability-to-repay requirements as well as payment provisions to help protect consumers from abusive use of account withdrawals to collect payments.

 

    • November 24, 2017: President Trump appoints Mick Mulvaney as Acting Director at CFPB.

 

    • February 5, 2018: The Wall Street Journal finds that 40% of public comments opposing the payday rule issued under CFPB Director Richard Cordray “weren’t actually sent or authorized by the people who associated with them.”

 

 

    • May 31, 2018: Then-Acting Director Mick Mulvaney sides with two payday lending trade groups in court to delay the effective date of the Cordray-era CFPB’s payday lending rule.

 

    • June 22, 2018: Payday industry executives Mike and Tina Hodges together contribute $250,000 to the primary SuperPAC supporting the President’s re-election just three weeks after the administration agreed to side with payday lenders in court and seek a stay of the effective date of the payday rule.

 

    • November 6, 2018: A judge stays the compliance date for the payday rule, including its ability-to-repay standard and its payment provisions after acting Director Mick Mulvaney’s CFPB sided with industry to delay rule.

 

    • 2018 Election Cycle: The payday loan industry donates a total of over $2.5 million in political contributions, with over $286,000 to Trump political committees and over $1.1 million to Republican campaigns.

 

    • February 6, 2019: CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger releases a proposed rule throwing out the ability-to-repay standard established in the Bureau’s 2017 final rule but preserving the original rule’s payment provisions.

 

    • February 27, 2019: The New York Post reports that Hilary Miller, the president of a payday lending trade group, negotiated with the Trump CFPB before it scrapped the ability-to-repay standard of the 2017 payday rule.

 

    • March 12, 2019: CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger admits during a Senate Hearing that the elimination of the ability-to-repay standard would save the payday loan industry “$7.3 to $7.7 billion” annually at the expense of consumers.

 

    • March 18-21, 2019: The Community Financial Services Association of America holds a second conference at the Trump National Doral. The combined costs of the two conventions at Trump National Doral was reported to be “about $1 million.”

 

    • April 8, 2019: A payday industry newsletter urges subscribers to submit comments on the CFPB’s proposed payday rule rewrite with trade group FiSCA, which had been coordinating a comment campaign on the CFPB’s payday rule rewrite.

 

    • May 15, 2019: The public comment period closes on the CFPB’s February proposal to remove the ability-to-repay standard of the payday rule. An Allied Progress analysis finds that over 7,000 pro-industry comments used suspiciously duplicative language and hundreds included identical ‘personal’ anecdotes.

 

    • May 16, 2019: Thomas Pahl, a senior CFPB official, testifies to Congress that the bureau’s proposed rule rolling back the ability-to-repay standard was not based on “any new research.

 

 

    • June 6, 2019: CFPB issues a 15 month delay on compliance with the ability-to-repay standard of the Cordray-era payday rule, with a new compliance date of November 19, 2020.

 

 

    • September 24, 2019: During a payday industry sponsored webinar, payday executive Michael Hodges bluntly discusses how campaign contributions to the Trump campaign has bought access to his administration. Hodges also claimed insider knowledge that the White House favored eliminating the payday rule’s payment provisions, which would go even further than CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger’s proposed rewrite of the rule.

 

    • October 7, 2019: Vice President Mike Pence was the keynote speaker at a Trump campaign fundraiser in Nashville, TN co-hosted by payday executives Tina and Mike Hodges and Garry McNabb, the owner of payday lender, Cash Express. Tickets ranged between $1,000 and $100,000.

 

    • October 17, 2019: Five separate congressmen who took money from Mike and Tina Hodges or their industry groups focus their questions on the payday rule’s payment provisions during a congressional hearing with CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger. Kraninger announces that the CFPB is reconsidering the payment provisions in its proposed rewrite of the rule, as prompted by a pro-industry petition from Mike Hodges’ Advance Financial.

 

    • October 29, 2019: The Washington Post reports that payday industry executive Mike Hodges claimed, “‘I haven’t lobbied the administration,’” despite having paid Mick Mulvaney’s former congressional Chief of Staff $350,000 to lobby the White House on the payday rule and CFPB issues.

 

    • 2020 Election Cycle: As of October 16, 2019, the payday lending industry had given a total of over $1 million in political contributions in the 2020 cycle.

 

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