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(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray released the following statement on the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act, which goes into effect today:

“The credit card reform bill that goes into effect today is a good step forward for Washington state families. The new law puts people ahead of credit card companies, and it puts fairness and common sense back into the credit card industry.

“With so many people in our state struggling just to make ends meet, I am proud that we passed this law that protects families and small business owners from excessive credit card fees, unexpected hikes in interest rates and minimum required payments, and constantly changing credit card agreements that are designed to boost profits by keeping families in debt.

“This law puts families and Main Street ahead of special interests and Wall Street. Taxpayers have been asked to reach into their pockets over and over again to bail out the big banks that got us into this economic mess, and I am proud that we were able to fight the special interests to pass this law that protects hardworking families.

“I am also proud that work will begin on the amendment I included in this bill to make the federal government a stronger partner in financial literacy education. As we fix some of the problems in the credit card industry it is critical that we also focus on giving Americans the skills to understand the fine print and avoid mounting debt. Thanks to this amendment the federal government will now be working together, coordinating, and putting the pieces in place to give Americans of all ages the skills to manage their finances and make good financial decisions.”

Senator Murray’s amendment calls for the Secretary of Education and the Director of the Office of Financial Education of the Department of Treasury to coordinate with the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy to evaluate and compile a summary of all existing federal financial and economic literacy programs. It also directs them to develop a strategic plan to improve and expand financial and economic literacy education.

On July 15, 2009, Senators Murray, Akaka, and Dodd sent a letter to Secretaries Duncan and Geithner regarding coordination on financial and economic literacy education and implementation of the amendment.