Murray Works to Add Financial Literacy Effort to Credit Card Reform

May 13 2009

Introduces amendment to Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights that would evaluate and coordinate planning for financial literacy programs

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced an amendment to H.R. 627, the Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights, that would make a number of changes in the way financial literacy is planned and coordinated at the federal level.

“As we work on fixing 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,” said Senator Patty Murray.  “We used to say the three ‘R’s’ of school are reading, writing, and arithmetic, well I think we need to add a fourth ‘R’ – resource management. This amendment will ensure that the federal government is 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.”

The 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.

This amendment comes on top of the work that Senator Murray is doing with Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS), and Representative Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY 4th) to make the federal government a strong partner in funding financial literacy programs.

In March of this year, Murray, Cochran, and McCarthy introduced the bi-partisan, bi-cameral Financial and Economic Literacy Improvement Act of 2009, which will provide $250 million in grants annually to states to support teaching financial literacy in K-12 and 2-and 4-year colleges.

Murray continued to push for strong support for financial literacy in a speech she made on the Senate floor last Tuesday.

Read a summary of the Financial and Economic Literacy Improvement Act of 2009.

Listen to Senator Murray’s Floor Speech Introducing the bill.

Senator Murray is a senior member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee that oversees education as well as a member of the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education (LHHS) Appropriations Committee that oversees Education funding.