WASHINGTON, DC — Late yesterday, Republican members of the House Financial Services Committee (HFSC) unanimously voted in favor of a Congressional Review Act resolution introduced by U.S. Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY-06) to block the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB)’s hugely popular rule capping most credit card late fees at $8, down from a $32 average. Committee Republicans put industry profits ahead of lowering costs for everyday families, as a new Accountable.US report found those who voted to block the rule took over $7.9 million from the largest credit issuers and industry groups most affected by the rule. 

These Republicans voted to pad giant profits of their big bank megadonors at the expense of American families fed up with exploitative late fees as high as $41. These MAGA lawmakers are standing in the way of the Biden administration’s work to lower costs, all to help some rich CEOs get richer nickel and diming Americans struggling to get ahead.”

Accountable.US Liz Zelnick

Despite industry and Republican opposition, the CFPB’s exceptionally popular rule would save millions of Americans $220 per year on average, a total surpassing $10 billion across the nation annually, and would be a significant step towards alleviating crushing credit card debt plaguing American families. Today’s obstruction comes even as new polling shows more than four in five Americans want Congress cap credit card late fees. 

Barr’s Resolution Punishes Consumers to Further Enrich Big Banks: In February 2024, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released data showing that Americans’ credit card balances reached a “new record high of $1.13 trillion” in Q4 2023 and that the number of late credit card payments and delinquencies were growing. In 2019, nearly 60% of the $23.6 billion that card issuers charged consumers were from late fees, and in 2022, late fees returned to pre-pandemic levels at $14.5 billion. According to a January 2024 Bankrate survey, 49% of American credit cardholders are carrying debt from month to month, while 39% of Americans said credit card debt was their biggest barrier to building wealth in 2023.

In Rep. Barr’s home state of Kentucky alone, consumers’ average credit card balances increased 8.4% to $5,304 from 2022 to 2023. Yet Rep. Barr is pressing forward with his resolution to stop the Biden administration from lowering costs after taking over $700,000 from industry trade groups opposed to the credit card late fee rule and the eight largest U.S. credit card issuers.


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