Tuesday night, Senate Republicans picked Equifax, Wells Fargo, and other Wall Street companies over working families. North Dakota’s Senator John Hoeven joined the majority to make it harder for ordinary people to band together against the abuses by big banks and credit companies. The 50-50 tie in the Senate was broken by Vice President Mike Pence after two Republicans joined Senate Democrats attempting to uphold consumer protections created by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB was established following the financial collapse in 2007. This vote was a step backwards.
Hoeven joined Congressman Kevin Cramer who earlier voted for Wall Street to gut consumer protections. Class action lawsuits will now become more difficult with the changes on their way to President Trump’s desk. This leaves big banks with little worry when it comes to financial abuses, substantial fees, and other wrong doings like Equifax’s data breach that compromised the personal information of 145 million Americans.
Why was this rule created by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau? According to the New York Times,
For decades, credit card companies and banks have inserted arbitration clauses into fine print of financial contracts to circumvent the courts and bar people from pooling their resources in class action lawsuits. By forcing people into private arbitration, the clauses effectively take away one of the few tools that individuals have to fight predatory and deceptive business practices.
We are now on our way back to those practices becoming hard to correct.
You were one of the million fraudulent checking accounts created by Wells Fargo without your knowledge? Tough. Your personal information like your social security number was breached along with 145 million other Americans? You’re on your own. That is the attitude of Hoeven and Cramer.
The party that campaigned vigorously against Wall Street sure likes do its bidding when it comes to actually casting votes. Explain to me how this is “populism” when the only people who will benefit from this vote are big banks and credit companies. Somehow these politicians will try and convince you this is about your choice and financial freedom. Except for you won’t have much of a choice to seek justice if these financial institutions freely abuse your finances for company profits.