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Senate passes credit card holders' 'bill of rights'

[JURIST] The US Senate [official website] on Tuesday voted 90-5 [roll call] to pass the Credit Card Holders' Bill of Rights [text, PDF]. Among the provisions included in the bill are restrictions on retroactive interest rate increases, a mandatory 45-day notice for all proposed interest rate increases, and a requirement that credit card companies mail a billing statement to the consumer 21 days before the bill due date. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) lauded [press release] the bill's passage, saying that the Senate, "stood up for consumers and stood up to abusive credit card companies." The House and Senate versions of the bill must be reconciled before the bill can be submitted to President Barack Obama.

It is expected that the president will quickly sign the bill, as credit card reform has been one of the administration's priorities since the presidential campaign [campaign website]. Last week, at a town hall meeting [transcript] in New Mexico, Obama called for, "strong, reliable protection for our consumers." The bill, sponsored by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) [official website], passed the House of Representatives in April, 357-70 [roll call].

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