WASHINGTON (11/14/11)--The Empowering States' Rights to Protect Consumers Act, introduced by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) late last week, would allow states to set their own limits on credit card and other consumer loan interest rates.
The bill intends to return a right states had before a key 1978 Supreme Court decision found that national banks were only subject to the lending laws of their home-base state. Whitehouse's legislation is cosponsored by Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Al Franken (D-Minn.)
Whitehouse introduced similar legislation in 2009, and the bill was considered in 2010 as a possible amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act but was ultimately defeated.
Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Executive Vice President for Government Affairs John Magill said the chances of Whitehouse's legislation moving forward are slim.