New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the highest-profile Democratic freshman on Capitol Hill, presided over the House of Representatives chamber for the first time. Earlier in the week, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accused banks of acting as modern-day loan sharks and called on Congress to enact a federal limit of 15% on credit card interest rates.
The two self-identified democratic-socialists are set to propose legislation on Thursday capping rates on credit card and other consumer loans and letting post offices offer low-cost basic financial services, such as loans and checking and savings accounts. An outline of the plan released ahead of their formal announcement sharply criticized banks for charging on average more than 17% interest on credit card balances while they are able to borrow money at less than 2.5%.
Today's loan sharks wear expensive suits and work on Wall Street, where they make hundreds of millions of dollars in total compensation by charging sky-high fees and usurious interest rates, the statement said.