More Legislative Atrocities

It wasn’t just Syrian refugees that got pummeled by Congress last week. Car purchasers of color got mugged, and robbed, and stripped of protections that the Consumer Financial Protection Board (CFPB) had adopted in 2013.

Here’s the deal. You walk into a car dealership, look at a car, take it for a test drive, decide you can’t live without it and must buy it. You sit down with the salesman, haggle meaninglessly for a little while, decide on a price, and then it comes time for a loan. The dealership takes your information, runs a credit report, and gets information from a bank or banks interested in lending to you, with a minimum rate they’ll accept. The dealer, in many cases, will take that rate and “mark it up,” and if successful, will get to pocket some of the extra money. Lawsuit after lawsuit over more then 20 years has shown that these kind of markups fall disproportionately on minority purchasers, i.e., dealers don’t mark up white purchasers as often.

In 2013, the CFPB passed a regulation stating that if banks want to continue this practice of allowing car dealers to mark up offered interest rates, they have to take steps to make sure that such markups aren’t being done in discriminatory fashion. Two lending institutions, Honda’s own financing entity and Ally Bank, were forced by the CFPB to pay back over $100 million to customers as a result of discrimination.

This didn’t sit well with Republicans. So they proposed a bill to void the CFPB regulation and basically say that racial discrimination in auto lending was perfectly fine with them. OK, fine, they suck. But last week the bill came up for a vote and 88 House Democrats voted to gut the CFPB authority to regulate racial discrimination in auto lending. Including everyone’s least favorite DNC chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

And which Maryland Democrat voted for this steaming pile of horse poop?

Do I need to draw you a picture?

The one who wants to run for governor in 2018, of course. John Delaney.

Because nothing says “Democratic stalwart” like “caving in to the car dealers and the banks, while simultaneously screwing over consumers who want to buy cars and not be discriminated against because of their skin color.” Amirite?