Raleigh – Senator Tillis has repeatedly helped weaken protections from predatory lending practices for North Carolinians, including servicemembers and veterans, while raking in campaign cash from the payday lending industry – even attending a fundraiser thrown by a top predatory lender executive less than a week after a bill hiking profits for the industry “sailed through the legislature” with Tillis’ help.
As North Carolinians reflect on the sacrifices veterans have made for our state this week, a look back at Senator Tillis’ record reveals a senator willing to put his reelection chances before military communities – from enabling an $80 million raid on our military bases and skipping a Veterans’ Affairs hearing for a political fundraiser to fundraising with predatory lenders days after allowing them to charge consumers like servicemembers and veterans higher interest rates.
As Speaker of the House, Tillis raked in more than $30,000 in contributions from predatory lenders, the most in the North Carolina legislature at the time. In return:
- Tillis “helped push” a bill that would hike industry profits over the objections of North Carolina military leaders and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who personally opposed the bill because the industries “tend to target servicemembers.”
- Tillis shepherded a bill through the legislature raising the maximum allowed interest rate despite strong objections from the AARP, the Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society, and consumer advocates. Days after the industry bill “sailed through the legislature,” Tillis attended a fundraising event with a top industry executive.
In the Senate, Tillis also put special interest lenders first while accepting more than $14,000 from the payday lending industry:
- Tillis publicly opposed a federal payday lending rule strengthening underwriting standards endorsed by the American Legion and the North Carolina Veterans Council and voted to eliminate key consumer finance protections that would benefit servicemembers. Military advocates opposed Tillis’ vote, stating, “we will not accept a future where our military veterans’ financial protections are chipped away.”