House Republicans and Corporate Democrats Celebrated Valentine’s Day by Blowing Kisses to the Financial Industry

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day, and the House of Representatives celebrated by showing their love for those dearest to their heart: the financial industry.

In particular, House Republicans, with some corporate Democrats joining them, passed two bills to eliminate important protections for consumers, investors, and the public.

The Protecting Consumers’ Access to Credit Act of 2017, as one can easily guess, wasn’t really about helping consumers. Rather, it facilitates the expansion of predatory lending across the country. In particular, as the Center for Responsible Lending explains, it makes it easier for payday lenders to use “rent-a bank” arrangements to ignore state interest rate caps and make loans at excessive rates, like 300% annual interest or even higher.

It passed 245 to 171. 229 Republicans and 16 Democrats voted for it, and 170 Democrats and 1 Republican — Walter Jones (NC-03) — voted against it.

Here are the 16 Democrats: Tony Cardenas (CA-29), Lou Correa (CA-46), Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Gene Green (TX-29), Alcee Hastings (FL-20), Denny Heck (WA-10), Ron Kind (WI-03), Gregory Meeks (NY-05), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), Collin Peterson (MN-07), Brad Schneider (IL-10), David Scott (GA-13), Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09), and Tom Suozzi (NY-03).

The second bill was the TRID Improvement Act, which certainly wouldn’t improve the experience of homebuyers.

The acronym “TRID” refers to Truth in Lending Act/Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act Integrated Disclosure forms, which derive from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s “Know Before You Owe” mortgage disclosure rule. The TRID disclosures, which the CFPB developed in a thorough process with public input, provide home buyers with consistent and understandable information on what they will have to pay at closing on a mortgage loan. This bill would change these disclosure forms in a way that creates unnecessary confusion for home buyers about how much they have to pay.

It passed 271 to 145. 229 Republicans and 43 Democrats voted for it, and 144 Democrats and 1 Republican — Walter Jones (NC-03) — voted against it.

Here are the 43 Democrats: