A payday lending bill is dead after House Speaker Bobby Harrell used the power of his office to send the bill back to committee without debate.

Harrell said Tuesday he has the power as speaker to send to committee any amended bill that’s substantially different than the original. The Charleston Republican said the move was not debatable.

The speaker said that Senate amendments to the bill would have made it impossible to defend against a court challenge. Which might have been a reasonably debatable argument … had not not kept talking.

Harrell said he supports restricting payday lending but doesn’t want to “regulate it out of existence,” which is where he’s concerned the debate is heading.

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