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MEDIA ALERT: A Savage Attack on American Consumers

July 19, 2017

MEDIA ALERT: A Savage Attack on American Consumers

House and Senate Republicans to Introduce CRA Resolutions Blocking the CFPB’s Arbitration Rule; House Floor Vote Expected Early Next Week

At a press conference scheduled for Thursday morning, U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) is expected to introduce a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution of disapproval to repeal the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s recently finalized arbitration rule, with a floor vote in the U.S. House of Representatives expected as early as Tuesday. U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) is expected to introduce a similar resolution in the U.S. Senate this week.

The CFPB’s arbitration rule prohibits rip-off clauses – fine-print contract terms that force consumers to forfeit their right to file class-action lawsuits – thereby restoring consumers’ ability to join together in court to hold banks and lenders accountable when they break the law by cheating, conning, fleecing, defrauding and preying on consumers. By threatening to overturn the arbitration rule, Republicans in Congress are making clear that they are on the same side as predatory banks, payday lenders, credit card companies and the financial industry, which together spend hundreds of millions every year on lobbying and campaign contributions.

The CRA allows Congress – by majority vote in both chambers, with limited debate, no possibility of a filibuster and the president’s signature – to overturn recently issued public protections. Making matters worse, the CRA blocks agencies from issuing rules that are “substantially the same” without express authorization from Congress. To date, Republicans in Congress and President Donald Trump have used the CRA to strike down 14 regulatory protections as payback to their corporate donors, who spent more than $1 billion to get their way. Six months into the Trump administration, these 14 resolutions remain the only legislation of consequence the president has signed.

Public Citizen is leading the campaign to defend the rule from the CRA challenge and has multiple experts on hand to speak with reporters about the CFPB’s arbitration rule, the CRA process and the tens of millions of consumers – including the victims of Wells Fargo’s fraudulent accounts scandal – who would be harmed by the rule’s repeal. Please contact the individuals listed above to speak with an expert.