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Senate Moves Closer to Reining in Credit Card Companies

The Senate neared approval Thursday of a bill to rein in credit card companies, which could mean new rules will be in place by early next year. Ray Suarez reports.

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  • JIM LEHRER:

    The Senate neared approval today of a bill to restrain credit card companies. It could mean new rules will be in place by early next year.

    Ray Suarez has our lead story report.

  • RAY SUAREZ:

    It's called the Credit Card Holders' Bill of Rights, and Senate supporters said the aim is to stop arbitrary rate hikes and other abuses.

  • SEN. BYRON DORGAN, D-N.D.:

    This legislation says, "No more. You can't do that." It says, "If you're going to go in this direction, way overboard, in many cases cheating customers, then we're going to put the brakes on you."

    Some people probably say, "Well, of what business is it of the government's?" Well, you know what? We have a responsibility, it seems to me, to stand up for consumers.

  • RAY SUAREZ:

    And senators on both sides stood up for the bill. Richard Shelby of Alabama, the ranking Republican on the Banking Committee, helped work out the compromise.

  • SEN. RICHARD SHELBY, R-Ala.:

    I think this is a milestone as far as protecting consumers, informing consumers, letting them know, and also gives some balance. As I've always said, you can't take risk out of the marketplace. You've got to price risk when you make loans. And we have some of that in here.

    But we have great reforms in here that I think that we can live with. But, you know, some people don't want a bill on both sides or the others want something that's probably not achievable or probably not good for the economy, not good for the American people.

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