In a Thursday press conference, Maloney said that she held extensive meetings with credit card issuers and consumers when crafting the bill, which she says balances consumer protections with free market principles, and levels the playing field for credit card issuers that have already voluntarily made changes.
The House passed a similar bill last year that failed to get through the Senate. In light of the millions of people who are struggling through the current economic downturn, Maloney says she strongly believes that this time around it will pick up more Republican support because their constituents are hurting just as badly as Democrats’, and eventually reach the president’s desk.
CBC member Mel Watt of North Carolina, who sits on the financial committee, agrees. “Obama is viewed as a good barometer of where the public is. At this point, his popularity is high and if he believes that something is responsible or irresponsible and he says it, that adds credibility to what we are doing,” said Watt. He believes the president’s support will play a critical role in getting the bill through the Senate. “We [House members] don’t have much credibility with the Senate, but I think the president does,” said Watt.
RNC Chairman Michael Steele issued a statement late in the day that said, “It is the height of hypocrisy for President Obama to summon credit card company CEOs to the White House woodshed when his own reckless spending and borrowing is piling debt onto the federal government’s credit card at an astronomical rate. The president’s budget alone would result in a $9 trillion deficit and leave American families indebted to China and countries in the Middle East.”