A battle is shaping up in Congress that will have a profound effect on military personnel, and the biggest, best-funded guns are aimed directly at our fighting troops. The military is asking Congress to outlaw a practice that it says undermines military readiness, harms the morale of troops and their families, and add to the cost of fielding an all-volunteer fighting force.
The practice? Predatory lending. Specifically payday lenders that charge 400-800% interest for loans directly targeted at military families.
The plan? A cap on interest rates for military families.Â
What are the big guns on the other side? The very profitable payday lending companies, backed up by their powerful lobbying forces. They may have some allies in the form of the American Bankers Association; their group is worried thatÂ proposed legislation will cover high-priced credit cards and other consumer loans.
Will the military, led by Senators Jim Talent (R-Mo) and Bill Nelson (D-Fl), prevail? Or will the heavy lobbying assault from the industry win out?
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