Previously, on “All My Garnishments” we saw several characters rush to protect the economic stimulus funds that have started landing in consumers’ bank accounts from being garnished by big, bad debt collectors. In today’s episode, Sen. Pat Toomey [R-Penn.], the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, blocked legislation that was introduced a day earlier aimed at categorizing those stimulus payments in such a way so they could not be garnished or seized, blaming Democrats for not passing the American Rescue Plan with such protections in place, and that it was too late to try and save the garnishments from happening.
Sen. Toomey pointed out that debt collectors — or anyone with a garnishment order, for that matter — have a valid legal claim to recover debts they are owed. The effort by Democrats to enact legislation to protect the stimulus funds was nothing more than a “political statement,” said Toomey, who has already announced he will not be seeking re-election when his current term expires in 2022. “My colleagues want to come here and block a valid legal claim from being honored.”
Democrats, even those from Toomey’s home state, were quick to attack Toomey’s decision.
“The fact that he’s on the side of debt collectors after a yearlong pandemic is all you need to know about Pat Toomey,” said John Fetterman, the Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania, in a published report.
The quartet of Senate Democrats who authored the legislation that was blocked by Sen. Toomey had harsh statements after the legislation was blocked.
“While families struggle to put food on the table and pay their bills, it’s unconscionable that Senate Republicans have blocked our efforts to prevent direct payments for Americans from being seized by private debt collectors and predatory lenders,” said Sen. Chris Van Hollen [D-Mary.] in a statement. “Many are relying on these payments to help make ends meet. Republicans were on board with this common-sense measure in December – blocking it now is pure partisan obstructionism.”
Tune into tomorrow to see if Dr. Drake Romoray survives his fall down the elevator shaft, if Devin and Stuart can make up after one gave the other bad directions, and what happens next in Congress.