Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Contends the Bible Denounces High Interest Rates

David Wilson is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Senator Sanders joined her

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the elected Democrat from New York, and Independent Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont have asked the Christian right to stay true to their principles on the critical interest rate issue. The two have launched the “Stop Loan Sharks Act,” a bill which caps the loan interest rates to 15 percent. This measure, if adopted, would dramatically slash the rates prevalent on credit cards. It would also torpedo predatory lenders like payday loan industry players.

The two politicians played their cards well: after they launched the all-encompassing policy, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted her invitation to right-wing religious leaders to support the top Loan Sharks Act on faith grounds. In her social media post, the New Yorker adopted the Biblical word for high interest-usury- and reminded the religious right that usury is entirely banned as per biblical teachings and in the other Judaism and Islam. She went on to say that since the bill has the backing of the Bible, they would have no hesitation in signing it. The congresswoman included an angel emoji and also took a parting shot, reminding the religious right, that if they do not endorse the bill, then it would be clear that they only invoke Christian principles to punish gays and women.

The top Loan Sharks Act has minimal chance of passing the GOP controlled Senate. Ocasio-Cortez did not stop at one tweet. She goaded the Republicans to pass the bill, saying that if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell intends to utilize Christian religious principles for good, then he and his party should reinstate Biblical usury laws. The average rate of credit in the United States is now at a peak rate of 17.73 percent. This is, however, surpassed by payday loans and multiple credit cards whose prices are much higher.

Senator Sanders, one of the 24 Democratic presidential contenders for 2020, introduced the top Loan Sharks Act with Ocasio Cortez in a live stream, invoking the traditional Abrahamic faith position on the issue of lending with repressively high-interest levels. Both used the ancient term “usury” to refer to this practice. Other than setting a 15 percent interest cap and ending the scourge of payday loans, Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders have spoken in unison on the necessity of post offices offering banking services. This is needed as remote rural areas, and weak urban areas continue to be in bad shape as the residents there have no access to any financial service.

Resources

Follow the Conversation on Twitter