Meet The 88 Democrats Who Just Voted To Enable Racial Discrimination In Car Buying

They were joined by 244 Republicans. America!

Senior Political Economy Reporter, The Huffington Post  Posted: 11/20/2015 06:01 AM EST | Edited: 11/20/2015 03:39 PM EST

So that happened. This week, the House of Representatives voted to help banks and car dealerships discriminate against customers of color. And it wasn’t just Republicans — 88 Democrats, including Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) — voted in favor of the legislation.

Most dealerships are authorized to sell cars and make loans to finance the purchase. They send their customers’ financial information to a bank, which then sends the dealer an appropriate interest rate for a borrower with that particular credit profile. But banks also permit dealers to “mark up” the interest rate on the loan to a higher level, and allow the dealership to pocket some of the additional charge.

That, of course, creates incentives for the dealer to charge people higher interest rates. But lawsuits dating back to the 1990s have shown that people of color are more likely to have their interest rates marked up than white borrowers. Black, Latino and Asian-American borrowers also tend to see higher markups than white borrowers.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued regulatory guidance in 2013 instructing companies on how to cope with this phenomenon. Since the markup practice tends to result in overcharging borrowers of color, the CFPB recommended that banks and dealerships ditch the practice. If they didn’t, however, they needed to ensure that borrowers with similar credit profiles weren’t receiving different interest rates due to their race or national origin.

Since issuing the guidance, the CFPB has taken action against Honda and Ally Bank for overcharging borrowers of color, forcing them to return more than $100 million to their customers.

This was apparently too much for banks and auto dealers to handle. They lobbied for a bill that would nullify the CFPB’s regulatory move. The NAACP, the Urban League, the National Council of La Raza, Americans for Financial Reform and other groups opposed the legislation. The Congressional Progressive Caucus urged lawmakers to vote against it, as did Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), the top-ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee. President Barack Obama issued a statement saying he “strongly opposes” the bill, but stopped short of a formal veto threat.

None of the opposition was enough to counter two interest groups that wield tremendous power on Capitol Hill. No Republicans voted against the bill to curb the CFPB’s enforcement of anti-discrimination law this week, while 88 Democrats voted in favor. The legislation cleared by a vote of 332 to 96.

The lopsided vote makes it a prime target for inclusion in a year-end government spending bill. In December 2014, Republicans secured a measure to subsidize risky Wall Street derivatives trading by including it in a bill to fund the government. Democrats would have had to shut down the government in order to reject the deregulation measure. At the time, then-House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) pointed to the dozens of votes the subsidy had received from Democrats as evidence that the provision should be considered uncontroversial.

The 88 House Democrats who voted to enable racial discrimination in the automobile market:

Pete Aguilar (Calif.)

Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.)

Brad Ashford (Neb.)

Joyce Beatty (Ohio)

Amerish Babulal “Ami” Bera (Calif.)

Don Beyer (Va.)

Sanford Dixon Bishop Jr. (Ga.)

Brendan Boyle (Pa.)

Robert Brady (Pa.)

Julia Brownley (Calif.)

Cheryl “Cheri” Bustos (Ill.)

Matt Cartwright (Pa.)

James “Jim” Clyburn (S.C.)

Gerald “Gerry” Connolly (Va.)

Jim Cooper (Tenn.)

James “Jim” Costa (Calif.)

Joseph “Joe” Courtney (Conn.)

Joseph Crowley (N.Y.)

Henry Cuellar (Texas)

John K. Delaney (Md.)

Suzan DelBene (Wash.)

Debbie Dingell (Mich.)

Mike Doyle (Pa.)

Tammy Duckworth (Ill.)

Elizabeth Esty (Conn.)

Bill Foster (Ill.)

Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii)

Ruben Gallego (Ariz.)

Gwen Graham (Fla.)

Alan Grayson (Fla.)

Eugene “Gene” Green (Texas)

Janice Hahn (Calif.)

Alcee L. Hastings (Fla.)

Dennis “Denny” Heck (Wash.)

Brian Higgins (N.Y.)

Rubén Hinojosa (Texas)

Jared Huffman (Calif.)

Steve Israel (N.Y.)

Marcy Kaptur (Ohio)

William “Bill” Keating (Mass.)

Dan Kildee (Mich.)

Derek Kilmer (Wash.)

Ron Kind (Wis.)

Ann Kirkpatrick (Ariz.)

Ann Kuster (N.H.)

Rick Larsen (Wash.)

Brenda Lawrence (Mich.)

Ted Lieu (Calif.)

Dan Lipinski (Ill.)

Dave Loebsack (Iowa)

Michelle Lujan Grisham (N.M.)

Ben Ray Lujan (N.M.)

Jim McDermott (Wash.)

Grace Meng (N.Y.)

Patrick Murphy (Fla.)

Rick Nolan (Minn.)

Donald Norcross (N.J.)

Beto O’Rourke (Texas)

Bill Pascrell (N.J.)

Ed Perlmutter (Colo.)

Scott Peters (Calif.)

Collin Peterson (Minn.)

Mike Quigley (Ill.)

Kathleen Rice (N.Y.)

Raul Ruiz (Calif.)

Tim Ryan (Ohio)

Loretta Sanchez (Calif.)

Adam Schiff (Calif.)

Kurt Schrader (Ore.)

David Scott (Ga.)

Terri Sewell (Ala.)

Brad Sherman (Calif.)

Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.)

Albio Sires (N.J.)

Louise Slaughter (N.Y.)

Adam Smith (Wash.)

Jackie Speier (Calif.)

Eric Swalwell (Calif.)

Mike Thompson (Calif.)

Dina Titus (Nev.)

Paul Tonko (N.Y.)

Norma Torres (Calif.)

Nikki Tsongas (Mass.)

Juan Vargas (Calif.)

Marc Veasey (Texas)

Filemon Vela (Texas)

Tim Walz (Minn.)

Peter Welch (Vt.)

This podcast was produced and edited by Adriana Usero and Peter James Callahan, and engineered by Brad Shannon, with assistance from Christine Conetta.

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CORRECTION: This article previously stated that Mike Quigley represents Indiana. He represents Illinois. The article also incorrectly stated that Tim Walz represents Nebraska, when he in fact serves the people of Minnesota.

Anti-abortion initiative closer to 2016 ballot


Salem – An initiative to ban state funding of abortions has passed the first hurdle toward a place on the 2016 ballot.

Chief sponsor Jeff Jimerson of Corvallis was scheduled to announce Friday that his group, Oregon Life United, has gathered the 1,000 signatures needed to obtain a ballot title for the initiative.

The group had garnered about 1,500 signatures as of early Friday.

This marks the third time Jimerson has sought to send the initiative to voters. He failed to secure enough signatures in 2012 and 2014.

“Each time we are getting closer and closer,” said Alicia Marks, Oregon Life United spokeswoman. “We really do think we have a strong enough volunteer base this time to get it on the ballot for 2016.

Oregon Life United must obtain 117,578 valid signatures to place the initiative on the ballot.

About 40 percent of the nearly 5,000 abortions performed between January and October were paid for with state funding, according to Oregon Health Authority.

The state paid about $1.8 million for a total of 3,556 abortions in 2013-14, the most recent figures available Friday. Each procedure cost about $500.

Oregon Right to Life supports the initiative but has made no financial commitment to the effort, said spokeswoman Liberty Pike.

The organization has chosen to spend its resources on supporting pro-life candidates in the upcoming election and lobbying lawmakers, Pike said.

“What we have found is the system is set up so that it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to get a measure on the ballot,” she said. “We have decided to use our resources in areas where we think we can get the best return on our investment.”

A Planned Parenthood spokeswoman did not immediately have a comment on how it plans to respond to the initiative effort.
By Paris Achen
Portland Tribune Capital Bureau Reporter
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