The GOP has long billed itself as the “party of the military” and “the party who loves our troops”, but like their claims, it’s all just more bullshit….they could care less about veterans. In a rapidly growing list of GOP lies, (along with trying to shutter the Post Office, backing predatory lenders, a whole host of economic lies, and the party of the real welfare queens–corporations–they are quantitatively the party that inflicts the greatest pain on our troops…after they’re through with them doing their imperialistic war-mongering, of course.
House Republicans voted to block predatory lending protections for American soldiers last week, in their latest, of a long list, of slaps to the faces of veterans.
The military has been besieged with finding ways to mitigate the financial impact of predatory lending on service members for years…not only because it adds to list of slights to veterans already tormented by underfunding to the VA Hospitals, but the adverse effect it has on recruiting. Loopholes in existing legislation allowed lenders to maneuver around the restrictions, and a 2014 report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau documented a host of abuses targeting troops. One family that took out a $2,600 loan ended up paying back $3,966.84 over the course of one year. Another borrower spent $1,428.28 to pay off a $485 loan in just six months. And those are just two of thousands of service members who are forced to suffer the humiliation of short-term, high-interest loans each year.
For their part, The Department of Defense completed a new set of rules last fall to combat such abuses. But Republicans slipped a measure to postpone (read: screw the troops, I need those lobbyist’s funding) those rules into the National Defense Authorization Act — a major bill that sets the military’s funding levels. Such delays are a tried and true method the GOP utilizes as a first step toward fully repealing policies.
Consumer groups and the Veterans Administration cried foul on the bill, and an amendment offered by Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) to strip out the delay passed by a vote of 32 to 30 at around 4 a.m. on Thursday morning. All 30 of the votes to preserve the delay came from Republicans.
“In the dark of night, many vulnerable House Republicans made the mistake of prioritizing special interests instead of protecting the financial well-being of our service members,” said DCCC spokesperson Meredith Kelly, calling the vote an attempt “to sell out service members to predatory lenders.” Kelly added, “They owe military families an explanation.”
Republicans defended the vote by arguing that it would give the government time to conduct a study on the effects of payday loans and other short-term credit on military families although two such studies have already been conducted. Now there’s good governing and wise use of government funds. The most recent CFPB study concluded that the DOD rules would help curb abuses and help military families, but the GOP wanted time to fund a Heritage Foundation-backed group to “do a study” to refute those reports
Haven’t we had just about enough of the GOPs repeated belligerence towards the middle-class, of which the veterans who suffer the abuses of warmongering Republicans, are just another subset of a subset?
Harvey A. Gold