03/28/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

GOP Gags Witnesses On Credit Card Woe

They came to the nation's capital this week from as far away as Denver, Chicago and Niagara Falls--five people who'd had tough experiences with their credit cards and were asked to share those tales with a House panel. Instead, they ran headfirst into the buzz-saw of Washington politics when the panel's Republicans insisted the visitors allow their lenders to discuss their financial histories publicly--in any forum, at any time.

For four of the five, it was a deal-breaker. Instead of signing the waivers allowing them to testify Thursday, they all sat silently in the audience.

"I didn't want all my ... information out there for just anybody," said Denver's Susan Wones, who saw the interest rate of her JP Morgan Chase card jump from 0 percent to 23 percent in one month last summer, without notification or explanation. "I'm extremely upset I can't talk about this."

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Read more about the credit card hearings at U.S. News & World Report, CNN/Money, and MarketWatch.