Ted Budd pushed policy helping donors skirt predatory lending laws

North Carolina Republican U.S. Rep. Ted Budd used his influence to pressure federal regulators into allowing lenders to circumvent state-level protections against predatory lending.

As reported by The Lever, federal records show Budd’s office worked to gut North Carolina regulations that prevented lenders from charging businesses and individuals debit card fees.

His advocacy is to the benefit of many companies that have donated to his campaign — Budd is the GOP nominee in the race to replace U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, who opted not to run for re-election.

Recent disclosures filed with the Federal Elections Commission show banking interests are placing large ad buys in support of Budd’s campaign. Conservative super PAC Club for Growth, which focuses on tax and economic policy, has spent more than $9 million on ads supporting Budd.

The American Bankers Association and the North Carolina Bankers Association also recently announced the launch of an ad campaign backing Budd’s U.S. Senate run.

“Congressman Budd has fought to ensure that farmers can access the credit they need to continue their essential work,” ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols said in an Oct. 12 news release announcing the ad. “We’re grateful for his efforts to help family farms in North Carolina and across the country.

Since being sworn into Congress in 2017, Budd has often pushed policy favorable to the financial industry, such as legislation allowing banks and other lenders to charge higher fees and avoid complying with state-level interest rate regulations.

The General Election will pit Budd against Democratic nominee Cheri Beasley, a former Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. Polling indicates the race is competitive, with Budd holding a slight advantage.

Statistical modeling from FiveThirtyEight currently gives Budd a 72% chance of winning the race, with his vote total in most outcomes being slightly above 50%. That lines up with an East Carolina University poll published Tuesday showing Budd ahead of Beasley 50%-44%.

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