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Obama pushes credit card reform action

SAYING credit card industry abuses had worsened in the current recession, President Barack Obama urged US Congress yesterday to approve new regulations to stop sudden rate hikes, unfair penalties and hidden fees.

"Americans know that they have a responsibility to live within their means and pay what they owe. But they also have a right to not get ripped off," Obama said in his radio address.

"Abuses in our credit card industry have only multiplied in the midst of this recession, when Americans can least afford to bear an extra burden," he said, calling on Congress to send him a bill he could sign by the Memorial Day holiday on May 25.

Obama's remarks came as he sought to step up pressure on the Senate to pass a credit card reform bill. The House of Representatives has already passed a measure and the Senate could take up its version as early as next week.

The White House said on Friday that Obama would hold a town hall gathering in Albuquerque, New Mexico, next Thursday that would likely deal with credit card issues.

Obama discussed his concerns about credit card abuses with industry leaders who were invited to participate in a White House meeting on April 23.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Thursday that Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate Banking Committee had worked out language on credit card legislation.


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