Mac Thornberry, a representative from Texas, had a conflict of interest regarding his wife when he blocked a federal act against predatory lenders against members of the army.
Thornberry was chairman of the House Armed Services Committee when he put new restrictions in the Military Credit Act that would protect those serving in the army against robbery practices.
During this time, however, Thornberry's wife, Sally, worked for Canfield & Associates, a company lobbying on behalf of the Consumer Mortgage Coalition, the Washington examiner reported
The Consumer Mortgage Coalition is a branch organization for the mortgage industry that has lobbyed for various loan-related issues.
According to the report, Sally Thornberry worked at the lobby company in 2015 and 2016.
Rep. Mac Thornberry blocked rules for looting aimed at members of the army, while his wife worked for a lobby company that had links with allegedly affected banks
While chairing the House Armed Services Committee, Thorberry's wife, Sally (right), worked for Canfield & Associates, a company lobbying on behalf of the Consumer Mortgage Coalition
Sally Thornberry's work for the company was described by a representative of her husband as & # 39; freelance writing about postal services & # 39;
A Thornberry representative said that his wife's work for the lobby group was related to & # 39; freelance writing about postal services & # 39 ;.
President Barack Obama, at the time, set restrictions on lending to members of the service, obliging lenders, banks and credit card companies to limit interest rates to 36 percent per year.
It would also prohibit these lenders from obliging military members to seek arbitration if an issue were raised instead of seeking a solution to the court.
The restrictions would combat any predatory lender aimed at military personnel.
The Department of Defense loses $ 14 million a year as a result of 11 percent of military members falling victim to robbery, the department found.
These previously proposed restrictions on military loans do not include those on residential mortgages, but would have applied to companies that do provide these services, including affiliated companies of the Consumer Mortgage Coalition.
Members of the coalition are Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Chase Home Lending, CitiMortgage and several other major banks – many of which would be affected by the restrictions on military loans.
Thorberry was chairman of 2015-2019 and his wife was with the lobby company in 2015 and 2016
The Texas representative argued at the time that the government should inform military members about finances and loans rather than adding more rules for banks
The coalition for which Sally worked included Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Chase Home Lending, CitiMortgage and several other large banks – many of which would be affected by the restrictions on military loans
Thornberry supported the postponement of these new rules in an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act 2016, arguing that lenders should have access to a database of military members that may be incorrect or malfunctioning.
He argued instead of fewer regulations and instead focused on educating military members about finances and how they would not fall prey to predatory practices.
& # 39; If you look outside of military posts, there are different types of companies, & # 39; said Thornberry Texas Tribune in 2015. & # 39; And so I think it's a question: how much do we want to put into federal law about eating fast food? Or various other things? & # 39;
Another potential conflict of interest arose in the Tribune article. It said that in the first quarter of 2015, Thornberry had raised more than $ 33,000 from a director of the American Financial Services Association, one of the key groups lobbying to postpone regulation.
Thornberry now serves as the ranking member in the Armed Service Committee after Democrats reached a majority in the House following the 2018 mid-term elections.
The Consumer Mortgage Coalition has in the past resisted the government's efforts to regulate robbery practices by claiming in 2004 that the term & # 39; robbery loans & # 39; difficult to define. & # 39;
& # 39; New laws are not needed to address these issues & # 39 ;, the coalition wrote in a letter from the Senate in a special letter about aging. "On the contrary, there must be a renewed emphasis on the allocation of the necessary resources to enforce existing legislation."
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