The House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation Wednesday that would ensure that non-bank financial firms are allowed to charge high interest rates on certain loans, a measure that supporters said was necessary to support the firms and provide credit to low-income borrowers.
Critics described the bill as a way to allow companies to skirt state laws and charge usurious rates, freeing the hands of payday lenders and others.
The bill, the Protecting Consumers' Access to Credit Act of 2017, passed 245-171. The bill was written by House Financial Services Committee member Patrick McHenry, a North Carolina Republican, and co-sponsored by two Democrats: Gregory Meeks of New York and Gwen Moore of Wisconsin.
McHenry said his bill's "passage marks an important step towards modernizing our financial system and ensuring financial inclusion for all Americans."