- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 20, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress has sent President Barack Obama a bill with sweeping new rules for the credit card industry that will affect just about every American.

The House voted 361-64 for the bill on Wednesday. The Senate had already approved the measure by a 90-5 vote on Tuesday.

The new restrictions will protect debt-ridden consumers from many of the surprise charges common in the industry, like over-the-limit fees and a charge to pay the bill by phone. People under 21 also will find it difficult to get a card.

As banks scramble to make up for the lost revenue, cardholders who pay off their balance in full each month could see annual fees become the norm and lucrative rewards programs canceled.

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