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Roll Call

The House

November 08, 1987

Credit Card Rates

By a vote of 56 to 356, the House rejected an amendment capping credit card interest rates. The cap was to have floated at 8% above the yield on one-year Treasury securities, or 15.3% at present.

The amendment was endorsed by the Consumer Federation of America and opposed by the American Bankers Assn.

It was offered to a bill (HR 515), which, as later sent to the Senate on a near-unanimous vote, requires credit card issuers to advertise and otherwise disclose consumer information such as interest rates to prospective cardholders.

Supporter Cardiss Collins (D-Ill.) said, "It should not be necessary for . . . any banker or anybody else to charge the kind of interest rates they are charging on credit cards." Opponent Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.) said capping credit card rates sounds appealing but is anti-consumer because it restricts competition.

Members voting yes favored a ceiling on credit card interest rates.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Anderson (D) x Rep. Dornan (R) x Rep. Dymally (D) x Rep. Lungren (R) x

Deficit Reduction

By a 206-205 vote, the House passed and sent to the Senate a sweeping deficit-reduction bill (HR 3545) that levies $12.3 billion in new taxes and cuts spending by $1 billion to $2.5 billion.

The bill's gains are slightly offset by spending hikes and revenue losses. It authorizes a 3% pay raise for members of Congress and other government employees and about $400 million in special-interest tax breaks. While the tax increases would mainly hit corporations and wealthy individuals, one provision extends the 3% excise tax on telephone service.

This "reconciliation" bill had been Congress' best hope for meeting 1988 deficit reduction goals by means short of the across-the-board cuts required by the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings law.

But the bill has been undermined by the recent turmoil on Wall Street and the resulting White House-Congress economic summit, which could produce a deficit package that overrides the reconciliation and Gramm-Rudman-Hollings approaches.

Both sides argued during debate over whether higher taxes will benefit the economy. Also, supporters said reconciliation should move forward because it will prod the summit into meaningful action, while foes said it has no chance of becoming law and should be set aside lest it upset those delicate talks.

Members voting yes favored the bill.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Anderson (D) x Rep. Dornan (R) x Rep. Dymally (D) x Rep. Lungren (R) x

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