Defense bill includes payday loan limitations

By CNJ Staff

WASHINGTON — With a long list of caveats, President Bush signed a bill Tuesday authorizing $532.8 billion in defense spending, including a 2.2 percent pay raise for members of the military.

The measure, for the 2007 fiscal year that began Oct. 1, authorizes $70 billion in supplemental funding to support the war on terror’s operation costs, personnel expenses, equipment needs and other costs.

The Defense Authorization Bill includes predatory loan restrictions, according to a news release from Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M. The new law retains Senate-passed language limiting interest charges to service members and their families for “payday loans” to 36 percent annually, well below the average 390 percent interest rate now levied on these loads, the release said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.