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WASHINGTON, April 27 (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives is likely to vote on credit card reform legislation on Thursday, according to several sources familiar with the chamber’s agenda.
The sources, who asked to remain anonymous because the schedule has not been made public, said the timing of a vote on the pro-consumer bill was fluid and the schedule could change.
According to one source, debate on the bill -- called the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights -- could start as early as Wednesday evening, followed by the introduction Thursday of amendments on behalf of the White House.
Lawmakers have seized on the public outrage against high credit card interest rates and a variety of charges and fees as well as certain billing practices of credit card companies.
The outrage was highlighted during a White House meeting last week between President Barack Obama and about a dozen credit card executives who were urged to halt what many see as unfair credit card practices and to disclose cardholder terms in language that would be easier for people tounderstand.
The House bill would codify into law restrictions on deceptive practices issued by the U.S. banking regulators, including the Federal Reserve, in December.
Under the Fed’s rules, card issuers would have until July 2010 to implement new rules.
The legislation would require credit card issuers to establish a credit limit that cannot be exceeded -- a provision that would prevent companies from collecting billions of dollars in over-the-limit fees.
It would also ban companies from imposing arbitrary interest rate increases and penalties, while halting certain billing practices.
In the Senate a separate bill, which narrowly passed the Banking Committee last month, includes provisions aimed at increasing the borrowing ability of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp and the National Credit Union Administration with the Treasury Department.
Banks have warned that this legislation could shrink the amount of available credit to card holders and make it more expensive to use plastic to pay for groceries and online shopping.
Reporting by John Poirier; Editing by Ted Kerr
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