Well, hats off to Chris Dodd and Harry Reid. Unlike Pelosi and Frank, who bowed to the caucus and wouldn’t let a vote on credit card interest rate caps come to the floor lest anyone have to take an embarrassing vote, Reid and Dodd allowed a vote on the Bernie Sanders bill to cap rates at 15%.


The banking industry, which had some heavy-weight representatives monitoring the vote off of the Senate floor, warned that an interest rate limit could cause a sour reaction in the financial markets.

But Mr. Sanders said the card companies and banks were engaged in conduct that could get others hauled into court. He said one-third of all credit card holders are paying interest above 20 percent and as high as 41 percent.

Got that? Dick Durbin’s "they own the place" bankers had Tony Soprano-like enforcers on hand to make sure things went their way. They also, if you’ll recall, prevented credit card holders from testifying before Congress. (TARP recipients paid $13.5 million to lobbying working to oppose cramdown & credit card caps, and prevent limits on their own executive bonuses 1Q 2009 — see chart.)

Now we know who thinks the banks who created this mess should be bailed out with hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars, and be able to turn around and soak the public with usurious interest rates:

Senator Credit Card
Interest Rate Caps
TARP I Bank Bailout
Oct 2008
TARP II Bank Bailout
Jan 2009
Lifetime FIRE
Akaka (D-HI) No Yes Yes $551,095
Baucus (D-MT) No Yes Yes $4,633,243
Bayh (D-IN) No Yes No $3,988,480
Bingaman (D-NM) No Yes Yes $492,042
Byrd (D-WV) No Yes Yes $421,000
Cantwell (D-WA) No No No $1,828,540
Carper (D-DE) No Yes Yes $2,160,628
Hagan (D-NC) No N/A Yes $545,000
Johnson (D-SD) No No Yes $3,025,166
Kaufman (D-DE) No N/A Yes $0*
Landrieu (D-LA) No No Yes $2,388,634
Lieberman (ID-CT) No Yes Yes $9,981,924
Lincoln (D-AR) No Yes No $1,672,292
Murray (D-WA) No Yes Yes $1,394,807
Nelson (D-FL) No No Yes $2,667,406
Nelson (D-NE) No Yes No $3,058,968
Pryor (D-AR) No Yes Yes $1,322,948
Shaheen (D-NH) No N/A No $659,000
Specter (D-PA) No Yes Yes $5,757,910
Stabenow (D-MI) No No Yes $1,736,406
Tester (D-MT) No No "Present" (Yes) $473,226
Warner (D-VA) No Yes Yes $1,950,479
Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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