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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Democrats in Congress
Fight to Tame
Greedy Credit Card Co’s

By John Poirier
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Congressional panel is expected to approve legislation on Wednesday that would curb high credit card fees and penalties assessed by many banks that have benefited from the federal government's financial bailout program.
The pro-consumer bill, which would mean sweeping changes for banks that issue cards, is an important test of the political will of Democrats who are pushing for U.S. financial regulation reform.
The bill-writing session by the House Financial Services Committee takes place one day before top executives of big banks and credit card companies meet with President Barack Obama, who campaigned for credit card reforms.
Executives from Bank of America Corp, American Express Co, Citigroup Inc, Wells Fargo & Co, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Capital One Financial Corp, Visa Inc and MasterCard Inc will be among 14 credit card companies expected to attend the Thursday meeting at the White House.
"It's a new era in Washington," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a New York Democrat and chief sponsor of the House bill. "It's taken three years of hard work, but I'm delighted that we're on the brink of real protections for consumers."