FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 5, 2017
Amanda Werner, Americans for Financial Reform & Public Citizen, firstname.lastname@example.org, (202) 973-8004
Washington, DC (December 5, 2017) – Today, the U.S. Senate Banking Committee rejected an amendment to S. 2155, which would have restored consumers’ right to sue financial giants when they break the law. While other provisions in S. 2155 would reduce consumer protections and bank safety rules, Amendment 70 would have reinstated the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)’s arbitration rule, exempting financial institutions with less than $10 billion in assets. Democratic Senators Jon Tester (D-Mon.), Mark Warner (D-Vir.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) joined all Republican members of the Committee in voting against the amendment, offered by Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.).
Yesterday, 375 consumer, veteran, faith, and civil rights groups sent a letter to the Committee, strongly urging members to support Amendment 70 and reinstate the arbitration rule. In October, Congress passed a resolution that repealed the rule, in a narrow 50-50 tie vote broken by Vice President Mike Pence. Soon after, the American Legion and the Union Veterans Council called on President Trump to veto the resolution.
“Today, members of the Senate Banking Committee doubled-down on harming consumers, once again shielding financial giants like Equifax and Wells Fargo from the consequences of their misbehavior,” said Amanda Werner, arbitration campaign director with Americans for Financial Reform and Public Citizen. “Though Senator Cortez Masto’s amendment was tailored to address stated concerns about community banks and credit unions, a majority of this Committee chose to vote with their Wall Street donors over their constituents.”
In addition to the wide-ranging coalition of 375 groups, 423 legal scholars and academics; a united front of military groups, including the American Legion, the Military Coalition and 29 others; conservative authors and organizations, including Citizen Outreach, American Future Fund, Let Freedom Ring and Tea Party Nation; and 100,000 individual consumers expressed strong support for the CFPB arbitration rule.