News Release

Biden’s Record Serving Credit Card Companies


ANDREW COCKBURN, amcockburn at, @andrewmcockburn

Washington editor of Harper’s Magazine, Cockburn wrote the piece “No Joe! Joe Biden’s disastrous legislative legacy.” While Joe Biden is continuously depicted as a friend of working people, the piece documents many aspects of his actual record, including:

• “An earlier iteration [of the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act] had passed Congress in 2000 with Biden’s support, but President Clinton refused to sign it at the urging of the first lady, who had been briefed on its iniquities by Elizabeth Warren. A Harvard Law School professor at the time, Warren witheringly summarized Biden’s advocacy of the earlier bill in a 2002 paper: ‘His energetic work on behalf of the credit card companies has earned him the affection of the banking industry and protected him from any well-funded challengers for his Senate seat.'”

• “Even when the ostensible objective lay elsewhere, such as drug-related crime, Biden did not forget his banker friends. Thus the 1990 Crime Control Act, with Biden as chief sponsor, further limited debtors’ ability to take advantage of bankruptcy protections.”

• “Biden was long a willing foot soldier in the campaign to emasculate laws allowing debtors relief from loans they cannot repay. As far back as 1978, he helped negotiate a deal rolling back bankruptcy protections for graduates with federal student loans, and in 1984 worked to do the same for borrowers with loans for vocational schools.”

• Biden worked diligently to strengthen the hand of credit-card firms against consumers. At the same time, “the credit card giant MBNA was Biden’s largest contributor for much of his Senate career, while also employing his son Hunter as an executive and, later, as a well-remunerated consultant.”