The battle lines have been drawn over one of the most important income inequality issues facing Congress — and Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Chair of the DNC, are at the center of this fight for the soul of the Democratic Party.
The Huffington Post broke the news in the middle of Super Tuesday:
WASHINGTON — Payday lenders have been gunning for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau since the day President Barack Obama tapped Elizabeth Warren to set up the new agency. They’ve had plenty of help from congressional Republicans — longtime recipients of campaign contributions from the payday loan industry… To date, the GOP blitz has resulted in a few close shaves for the young agency, but no actual defeats.
But the industry has cultivated a powerful new ally in recent weeks: Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.). Wasserman Schultz is co-sponsoring a new bill that would gut the CFPB’s forthcoming payday loan regulations. She’s also attempting to gin up Democratic support for the legislation on Capitol Hill, according to a memo obtained by The Huffington Post.
We need to send a clear message to Debbie Wasserman Schultz and any other Democrat thinking about standing with Republicans against working families: Choose a side. You’re either with us — and Elizabeth Warren — or you’re against us.
It’s not surprising that Republicans would fight on behalf of the payday loan industry, which profits off of the most vulnerable Americans. But to have the head of the Democratic Party lobby Democratic congressmembers on behalf of these insidious scammers is deplorable and outrageous.
Everyday, the payday loan industry ensnares more and more Americans in a never-ending cycle of debt. Desperate families, living paycheck to paycheck, face a terrible choice: Skip meals and other essentials or take out small loans with interest rates as high as 400%.
Consumer groups are appalled by the bill Debbie Wasserman Schultz is pushing. Americans for Financial Reform, Center for Responsible Lending, Consumer Federation of America, NAACP, National Consumer Law Center, National Council of La Raza, National People’s Action, Southern Poverty Law Center and hundreds of other groups wrote a letter to all 535 members of Congress in December urging them to oppose the legislation.
Thank you for standing with us in this is critical fight for working families and the future of the Democratic Party.
Jay Henderson, Digital Strategy Manager
Democracy for America