The payday lending lobby has largely stayed under the radar in previous election cycles as other hot-button issues like Wall Street regulation and tax policy took up voters’ attention. But with Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), both advocates of consumer protections, officially running for president, the industry is gearing up for its first big political fight in the 2020 election cycle.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced on Feb. 6 its plan to gut a signature Obama-era payday lending rule that required lenders to confirm their borrowers can pay their loans on time and still cover basic living expenses. That move preceded Warren’s official kickoff of her presidential bid on Feb. 9, when she focused on income inequality and the middle class as themes for her campaign.