North Carolina Republican Rep. Ted Budd opposed protecting consumers from predatory lending, despite his own state banning the practice.
North Carolina Republican Senate candidate Ted Budd has always sided predatory lenders and the payday loan industry, even though payday loans are banned in his state. The industry rewarded him with thousands of dollars in campaign contributions.
Budd, who is currently serving her third term in the U.S. House of Representatives, is running against former North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley (D) in November for the Republican senator’s open seat in retired Richard Burr. He is called a “liberal agenda-crusher” who “will work for ordinary families, not the elite or political insiders”.
But Budd’s file indicates otherwise. He has consistently supported lenders who prey on low-income people using abusive repayment terms and exploitative tactics, practices that have been illegal in North Carolina for more than 20 years.
Many financial services companies offer payday or “cash advance” loans, short-term loans with a high interest rate based on anticipated income on the borrower’s next payday.
North Carolina is among the states that have cracked down on these practices. According to his justice department“North Carolina has some of the toughest laws against unfair lending in the nation and was the first state to pass a comprehensive law against predatory home lending.”
Republicans in Washington, DC, pushed to to cancel these regulations and other States, at the order of the lending industry. A rule enacted in late 2020 by then-President Donald Trump’s administration allowed lenders to partner with banks in other states to avoid state-imposed restrictions.
In March 2018, Budd signed as co-sponsor of an effort to repeal a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule cracking down on paydays, car title and other high-cost loans.
In July 2020 and again in February 2021Budd introduced a “Freedom to Regulate Act” that would have placed limits on the actions of independent agencies, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
His spokesman told the right period time after the initial bill was introduced, the effort was “focused on some of the most important and economically influential regulations that independent agencies have implemented, such as the CFPB’s 2017 payday loan rule , the FCC’s ‘net neutrality’ rule, the joint employer rule.”
As Budd repeatedly sided with the payday lenders, payday lenders repeatedly filled his campaign coffers.
He received at least $2,500 of the Community Financial Services Association of America PAC, the political arm of the payday loan industry trade association. A spokesperson for the group did not immediately respond to a request for donation information.
Funding for Budd’s June 2022 campaign report noted thousands of dollars in PAC contributions from payday loan companies.
Some of the industry donations he received came days after a key vote.
On May 4, 2017, Budd vote to advance the Financial Choice Act of 2017 off the House Financial Services Committee. The package, which was primarily aimed at to move back the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Actincluded a section determining that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau “cannot exercise any regulatory, enforcement, or other authority with respect to payday loans, vehicle title loans, or other similar loans.”
“They’re trying to squeeze into this provision,” said Diane Standaert, then executive vice president of the Center for Responsible Lending. Los Angeles Times. “It seems like they were hoping no one would notice.”
Several financial company executives donated to Budd that month, including at least one payday lender.
On May 31, he receives $1,000 from Scott Wisniewski, CEO of Western Shamrock Corporation, who offers payday advance loans and has been called “predatory lenderby the advocacy group Texans for Public Justice.
A company spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Democratic candidate Beasley, who supports her state’s ban, told the American Independent Foundation in an emailed statement, “Payday lenders have long taken advantage of hard-working Americans, and it is unacceptable that Washington politicians like Ted Budd have chosen to campaign for contributions instead of holding them accountable.In the Senate, I will always advocate for corporate vested interests to protect the people of North Carolina from predatory lenders.
Budd has a habit of siding with his donors rather than his North Carolina constituents.
He accepted contributions from pharmaceutical interests days after voting against a bill to cut prescription drug prices in 2019 and took money from the oil and gas sector a day before voting not to prohibit price gouging by industry.
Spokespersons for Budd did not respond to a request for this story.
Published with permission of the American Independent Foundation.