Sneaky Senate Move Is Bad for Car Buyers
One of the key debates we tracked in the Senate was whether auto dealers would be covered by the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA). Since auto dealers make loans, it seems to us they should be treated like other lenders (read this previous post for more info). But auto dealers have been fighting hard for a special exemption. The question came down to the wire in the Senate, and in fact, Senators voted on it after the bill was passed.
Yes, this makes no sense. But here’s what happened. The Senate was dealing with two key amendments after “cloture” was invoked (translation: after they agreed to stop debating the bill within thirty hours). We supported one of these amendments (Merkley-Levin) and opposed the other (the Brownback amendment to carve out auto dealers). So, naturally, Senators smooshed them together into one amendment, and ultimately voted on neither.
But, the auto dealers got a special treat. After passing the bill, the Senate voted on a “motion to instruct” the conference committee to exempt auto dealers from the CFPA. This has no official impact on the bill, but sends a message to the conference about the Senate’s preferences (the House already voted to carve them out). The Senate motion passed by a bi-partisan majority, 60 to 39.
Please sign our petition opposing the auto dealer carve out here, and spread the word about this important issue.