July 25, 2017

House Sides With Predatory Banks Against Main Street Americans

Statement of Lisa Gilbert, Vice President of Legislative Affairs, Public Citizen

Note: Today, lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution of disapproval (H.J. Res. 111) that – if passed by the U.S. Senate and signed by the president – would strike down the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) arbitration rule. The rule protects consumers’ ability to join together in court to hold banks, credit card companies, payday lenders and other financial institutions accountable when they break the law.

Voting to allow banks and other financial institutions to rip off customers with impunity is a savage attack on American consumers. By voting to overturn the CFPB’s arbitration rule, Republicans in Congress are siding with predatory banks, payday lenders, credit card companies and the financial industry against Main Street Americans, and are choosing to be on the wrong side of history.

Unfair clauses hidden in the fine print of consumer contracts may be the single most pernicious tactic that the financial industry uses to escape accountability for cheating, conning, fleecing, defrauding and plundering consumers. Big banks, the financial industry and their allies in Congress are trying to overturn the CFPB’s rule because it will deprive them of a means to rip off consumers.

As Public Citizen repeatedly has documented, the financial industry spends hundreds of millions every year on lobbying and campaign contributions to get their way in Congress. The CRA resolution overturning the arbitration rule is payback to these interests at the expense of regular Americans. Make no mistake: Both the CFPB itself and the agency’s arbitration rule are overwhelmingly supported by voters in both parties.

This shameless corporate handout must be defeated in the Senate.

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