U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. October 9, 2016. (Photo: Mike Scarcella/ALM)

More than 110 consumer advocates from 36 states are on Capitol Hill today, urging members of Congress to adopt stronger consumer financial protections for ordinary Americans rather than weaken them.

They will advocate for the preservation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Payday Lending Rule — and of the agency itself — and for a national interest rate cap on payday loans.

Acting CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney has said the agency will revisit the payday lending rule, which requires lenders to assess a borrower’s ability to repay loans based on their income and allows no more than six loans a year or 120 days of debt without an assessment of repayment ability.

Mulvaney has also recommended that Congress curb the power and independence of the CFPB by requiring congressional approval of the agency’s rules and the creation of an inspector general’s office to monitor its activities. He requested zero funding for the agency’s current fiscal year budget.

“Consumers will not stand idly by and watch Congress, and the temporary management at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, take a wrecking ball to our consumer protections,” said Linda Sherry, Consumer Action’s Director of National Priorities, in a statement.

“This week members of Congress will get to hear from their own constituents, about how protecting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s common-sense rules is the right thing to do,” said Sally Greenberg, Executive Director of the National Consumers League. “Today is about reminding members of Congress that these protections touch the lives of their constituents, and that they should be working to further protect consumers, not to unravel protections, and undermine the structure of consumer protection institutions like the CFPB.”

Following Wednesday’s Capitol Hill push, the Consumer Federation of America will convene its annual Consumer Assembly in Washington, D.C., on Thursday and Friday. The assembly brings together consumer, government, industry and public policy leaders to discuss critical consumer issues. Among this year’s topics are fintech, data breaches, product safety and the influence of corporations on Capitol Hill.

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