Senate Kills Obama-Era Rule Allowing Consumer Class Action Against Banks, Pence Casts Tie-Breaking Vote

Reuters reports:

Banks, credit card issuers and other financial companies will be able to block customers from banding together to sue over disputes, after the U.S. Senate on Tuesday narrowly killed a rule banning the firms from using “forced arbitration” clauses.

Republican Vice President Mike Pence appeared on the Senate floor at 10:11 p.m. EDT to cast the tie-breaking vote as the chamber’s president and approve the most significant roll-back of Obama-era financial policy since President Donald Trump took office vowing to loosen the leash on Wall Street. The final count was 51 to 50.

The Republican-dominated House of Representatives has already passed the resolution repealing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rule released in July. The resolution also bars regulators from instituting a similar ban in the future.

CNN reports:

Two Republican senators, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John Kennedy of Louisiana, sided with Democrats in opposition to the resolution. Wiping out the rule would affect tens of millions of Americans who often don’t know they are covered by an arbitration clause when they sign up for a credit card, checking account or prepaid card.

Many companies tuck arbitration clauses into contracts as a way to resolve disputes outside the court system, making it harder for an individual to bring a case against a bank or credit card company.

“This bill is a giant wet kiss to Wall Street,” said Warren on the Senate floor Tuesday night as she defended maintaining the rule. “Bank lobbyists are crawling all over this place, begging Congress to vote and make it easier for them to cheat consumers.”

  • bkmn

    Time to move all accounts to a credit union.

    • David

      I did that years ago.

      • JCF

        I grew up w/ credit unions, the child of state workers. Then I moved away, and got stuck w/ a (barf) bank. I looked and looked, and finally found a *tiny* credit union that I qualified for—and I helped build it. [Now, back in my hometown, I’m w/ the same CU I grew up with!]

  • David

    Evil is, as evil does.

  • Sam_Handwitch

    Graham and Kennedy? ok

  • Tawreos

    I sometimes wonder if every individual will have to incorporate themselves to get congress to pay attention to we the people

    • Hmmm, good idea. Maybe I should incorporate…

      • Nic Peterson

        Let’s form a church!

  • Rex

    Further proof that Trump has the majority of Republicans right where he wants them.

    • MichaelJ

      Or further proof that Republicans dare not challenge Trump too much because they want to pass all the legislation they can to enhance the power and wealth of the wealthy and powerful and the expense of everyone else.

  • Todd20036

    I’m sure the Bernie bros are ok with this. Right?

    • Sam_Handwitch
      • Todd20036

        The man-bun is a nice touch

        • Steverino

          I prefer two man buns a little lower down.

      • Lumpy Gaga

        I love you, Wichy-poo.

    • petewestcentral

      I think this is my cue. I’m not a Democrat and it’s only going to get nastier in here as the elections approach. It’s been fun, mostly. Bye all.

      • fuow

        You could, of course, just stick to the threads which don’t involve politics.

      • zhera

        You think that was nasty?

        Grow some thicker skin. You’re gonna need it.

    • The_Wretched

      Why? Elizabeth Warren was passionate about this bill not passing. What do you have against the people who wanted the CFPB the most?

  • canoebum

    The serfs must be kept in their place. The Lord of the Manor has spoken.

  • Karl Dubhe

    Repealing all of those financial regulations, which were put in place to prevent another 2008 style crash, will only lead to another financial crash. This is what the Trumpsters are planning, yes?

    Perhaps they should avoid playing Russian Roulette with semi-auto handguns…

    • DaddyRay

      The rich made a lot of money off of the victims of the crash – they want it to happen again

    • The_Wretched

      Trump has more than a few Vampire Squid suckers (goldmansachs types) in his government. They have financial structures set up to make multiple billions off of every crash. They plan the timing of the crashes – run up bubbles and then they precipitate a reaction and reap the windfall. It’s cynical and it’s clinical and it’s looting. Real people losing their homes by their millions matters not one whit to them.

  • crewman

    We wouldn’t want banks to be held accountable.

    • Interesting that they have lobbyists pushing so hard for this when we are about due for an economic downturn. They knew the 2008 crash was coming at least a year out (we had a hiring freeze in 2007 where I was working in anticipation of the mortgage meltdown). Of course they sent people to CNBC and Fox Business to lie their faces off, but they knew.

  • Irish856

    Interesting… The same day that they take away the right to a class action suit, It was reported that Mickey D’s paid out $2 million for forcing employees to get a debit card and not a pay check. The card had lots of charges on it.

    To Hell with the working class

    • Chris Baker

      Actually, it was the local franchise owners who had to pay the money because it was their policy. McDonald’s doesn’t own every McDonald’s restaurant, they sell the franchise rights to local owners who own and manage the local franchises.

      • Tiger Quinn

        “Actually.” The mansplainer’s suit and tie. 🙂

        • Lumpy Gaga

          Actually, this case hinges on a state law, so there are probably franchise owners all over the country being similarly “clever”.

          Which reminds me. I have to call my 401(k) people today and argue with them for the third year in a row about how they help themselves to their annual fee.

          • You should be more concerned about what kind of investments they’ve put you in. There at least as much junk out there was there was in 2006-2008.

          • Lumpy Gaga

            Yeah, this is (one) problem with the “ownership society”.

            The only thing I know about stocks is that they’re for sexplay.

      • Lumpy Gaga

        Would love to know the history of this Pennsylvania law. There’s no way a couple coal miners weren’t killed in the process. (Laws are like sausages! You don’t wanna see them get made!!)

    • Lumpy Gaga

      The lawsuit contended that the J.P. Morgan Chase payroll cards issued
      to local McDonald’s employees carried fees for nearly every type of
      transaction, including a $1.50 charge for ATM withdrawals, $5 for
      over-the-counter cash withdrawals, $1 to check the card’s balance, 75
      cents per online bill payment and $10 per month if the card is left
      inactive for more than three months.

      Yeah, fuck that.

      The settlement comes after Burke in June 2015 ruled in favor of the
      plaintiffs, finding that paying employees exclusively with a debit card
      did not fall in line with the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection
      Law. The law mandates that workers be paid by “lawful money” or check.

      I’m still stuck on the first ‘graf. Those fees are nuts. Absolutely insane.

      But yeah, laws for consumer protection, amirite? Quaint little (Pennsylvania) law probably emerged from some coal company ‘scrip bullshit.

    • AmeriCanadian

      One dollar fee to check the balance? Are you f*cking kidding me? Bankers really are the robber barons of our times.

    • The_Wretched

      OMFG! This is straight back to company towns and defacto indentured servitude. You have to pay in cash, not in encumbered instruments.

    • jerry

      Just as bad, a number of conservative states were forcing people to receive their unemployment benefits this way…on debit cards with horrendous fees. I think a suit ended that practice also.

  • Barry William Teske

    Nothing segregates more.

    • Lumpy Gaga

      Church (or so it is said).

  • Gustav2

    Just what the Tea Party wanted in 2010, right? More power to the Banksters!

    • Todd20036

      Actually, it won’t affect most of them.

      • Gustav2

        All those middle class white folks running around with tea bags stapled to their tricorn hats don’t deal with banks or credit cards?

        • They’re about to get majorly fucked. In early 2009 with virtually no new funds to go after, Wall St targeted the state retirement funds. All those retired teachers and other state and county and city employees are going to lose everything when the next downturn hits (and we’red due as they happen about every 10 years give or take).

          • OdieDenCO

            the stock market bubble is huge right not. when it blows it will take out half the country.

          • Joe in PA

            The DOW: 23.4K right now. Scary.

          • Joe in PA

            I recently discovered that an acquaintance of mine was (is?) a Trump supporter, she is a teacher in a local public school. It just boggles my mind how she could support this administration. She bragged about getting “tenure” (she teaches 2nd grade and she gets tenure-oy). I presume she is a member of her soon-to-be-eliminated teacher’s union. Buh buy “tenure” and your fucking job.

          • They are about to be so fucked, and when it happens it will all be the fault of Obama and the Democrats.

          • Joe in PA

            Ayup. 🙁

          • Ninja0980

            Yup, why I have no pity for any Trump voter.

    • Steverino

      No wonder Dick Armey and the Koch Brothers were so eager to co-opt that movement.

      • Goodboy

        Americans for Prosperity.

      • jerry

        Co-opt? Hell, they created it. It was astroturfed from the beginning.

  • lymis

    ““Bank lobbyists are crawling all over this place, begging Congress to vote and make it easier for them to cheat consumers.”

    It’s not the begging that’s the problem. Its the buying of the votes.

  • MBear

    There’s a big “fk you” to Americans!!! LOL

  • Todd20036

    Remember boys and girls. McCain voted FOR this monstrosity.

    So be careful who you lionize in the GOP

    • Dreaming Vertebrate

      The GOP? They’re *ALL* dorks.

    • FloBear

      So did Collins and Murkowski, who talk endlessly about “protecting ” their constituents.

    • Joe in PA

      Ahhh, they’re just voting their “conservative” principles.

      Have we fucking learned NOTHING?

      • GayOldLady

        Fighting against Consumer Protections is as old as Conservatism and it’s offspring Libertarianism. That’s why they deplore the Consumer Protection Agency. They believe that giving Consumers too much power can destroy businesses and they’re all about defending the rights of businesses over the consumer.

        • Joe in PA

          Sadly true, but in this case, who really loses when the economy tanks like the last time? Granted, the big banks didn’t fare too badly, but a WHOLE LOT of smaller businesses did. I don’t see how destroying consumer protections is “conservative”. I get pragmatism and conservatism mixed up I guess. Stop this train, I want to get off! ;(

          • GayOldLady

            I agree, they’ve bastardized conservatism and it began many years ago. They sold out to all of the darkest elements within their movement and now they’re stuck with a witches brew of malcontents. At this point I’m more concerned with my own party. I don’t want us to sell out to the elements within our party that demand purity tests. We just lost an election that way.

          • The_Wretched

            How odd. I’m concerned that Schumer and the FEDDEMS don’t like the CFPB either and that the DNC just kicked out all but a token of the liberal wing – the strongest Warren / Sanders supporters.

          • GayOldLady

            Competing concerns, but no less concerns. To this point I think the Dem Senate has held together well against McConnell. Not a single Dem voted for the law just passed and 2 republicans crossed the aisle to vote with the Dems. It took a VP vote to break the gridlock.

            I also think Warren has a shot at getting the nomination if she wants it. I love her, but think she and Bernie are too old to run for POTUS. I’m older than Warren and younger than Bernie so there’s no age prejudice in my opinion. I think our mission is to convince Americans that the policies the GOP has framed as “ugly socialist” are actually policies that most Americans want and would vote for IF they understood them. That’s a challenge, the same one the Dems have had for decades, but I think it will be closer to doable post Trump than ever before.

        • The_Wretched

          Which always struck me as a misunderstanding of government. Is the job of the government to reinforce the power of the powerful or is it to manage the show for everyone?

    • marshlc

      It’s unwise to lionize any politician.

      Instead, take a mindset of “You are my ally in this particular fight, and I welcome your help because I need it. We may possibly be able to work together on other issues, we’ll see”.

      Spitting in the eye of uncertain allies is as silly as assuming that they are unwavering friends.

    • Do Something Nice

      So did Flake and Corker.

      • Taylor Bixler

        And Murkowski and Collins. Only Ms. Lindsey and Kennedy voted against.

    • GayOldLady

      But acknowledge the difference between “lionizing” and “recognizing”. I recognize that McCain, Corker and Flake have taken bold stands against a sitting POTUS of their party. This is unprecedented and to the mind of many courageous because there will be some very powerful and influential bridges burned along the way. So, there’s that.

    • Gerry Fisher

      I’m not interested in lionizing anybody.

  • TheGrandWazoo2

    “You’re going to get tired of winning.”

  • Dreaming Vertebrate

    Drain the swamp! Lol !!
    The bank lobbyists are the slimiest of the swamp critters, and they are ALL playing pocket pool in Trump’s pocket.

    • Lumpy Gaga

      But, seriously: starve the fucking beast.

      Hard to avoid a mortgage or car loan, but my two cents is that I don’t go around using plastic cards at corner merchants or even my national chain supermarkets. Why Should Big Bank get a cut of that local economic activity?? Why are their fees not called ‘job-killers’?

  • joe ho

    But that corporate whore Hillary!

    • Boreal

      but her emails.

    • zhera

      She spoke to the people at Goldman Sachs! She’s a millionaire! She has a vagina!

  • Tiger Quinn
    • MBear


      Like facts matter

    • Pip

      Unfortunately, the ones in the know know this, and the ones that should be in the know will never read/believe this.

  • Will Parkinson

    No way this could end badly….

  • Kelly Lape
  • Boreal
    • ZRAinSWVA

      I wish I had seen this happen. It would not have ended well…

  • netxtown

    And still – Flake, Corker, and McCain vote right down party lines….

    • Taylor Bixler

      Yup. Literally no surprises there.

  • CanuckDon

    Obviously, the rednecks and rural folk love Wall Street and the big banks. We must remind them of that.

  • AmeriCanadian

    “The resolution also bars regulators from instituting a similar ban in the future.” Oh like that can’t also be rolled back in the future. Nothing matters anymore. Nothing.

  • fuow

    Why, it seems as if it was just yesterday I got into an argument here with a BernieBro about how Hillary and Trump were exactly the same with regard to the banks.
    Yup, just exactly the same so no reason to vote for her.
    Gonna get worse, folks. Much worse. Those of you who voted ‘Green’ or stayed home to teach the rest of us a lesson? Hope you get hit by it.

    • Jean-Marc in Canada

      Sad but true. It’s hard enough feeling any empathy for those on the right and the left who lost their ACA coverage because of their intransigence…this will be worse. It’s difficult to have sympathy for the willfully ignorant.

  • And cheat consumers they are. When the next recession hits, people are going to find out how badly they and their retirement funds have been screwed and now there’s not going to be a damn thing they can do about it. If you thought 2008 was bad, wait until the next one.

    • Jean-Marc in Canada

      Indeed, which makes the midterms all the more important. 2018 has to be a massive shift to blue or the citizens of the U.S. will truly be screwed.

    • jerry

      And the budget just passed by the Senate, which the House has said it will pass, is a blueprint for the next recession. It cuts about $500 billion from Medicare and $1 trillion from Medicaid, as well as slashing money from every other safety net program, in order to give tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy. This is a recipe for an economic downturn.

  • The_Wretched

    Hey folks – it’s like clock work that when there is an anti-liberal and vexing vote in congress certain people and russian trolls show up to redirect what should be anger at republicans into anger at liberals. It’s very weird and very russian troll. Hate where it’s due – the people who actually do the very bad things and do not hate the people who are the most upset about the harms just done.

  • JWC

    another Obama deed vanquished

    • Jean-Marc in Canada

      They really do hate what the black president did…thankfully, Americans and the World will always remember him; and you just know that’s galling to president shitgibbon.

  • Gerry Fisher

    This one hurt. They’re all bad, every day, every week, but…ouch!

  • Charles Nelson

    Pro-Trump LGBT voters are so retro…they dream of going back to the 50’s and 60’s, when there was no discrimination.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    Typical. Rich mostly white men repealing laws/regs meant to protect the ordinary citizen from their banker brothers, qu’elle surprise. That said, this may be the catalyst needed to spur on rational thinking come the midterms. Alas, I don’t hold out hope given the continued push by the purity patrols to demand absolute perfection among the Democrats. 2018 will be the last chance you get to get this right….don’t fuck it up.

  • Lars Littlefield

    Bands and credit lenders are now back to being a protected class, but LGBT folks are not? OK. Message received loud and clear – – – fucking assholes!

  • eyefidelity

    There needs to be a mass exodus of consumers from commercial banks. My credit union has been a breath of fresh air when I think of the bad old days of Wells Fargo….

  • JCF

    RUN ON THIS, DEMS! Drain the RETHUG swamp!!!


  • Gianni

    What could one expect from a Republican’t controlled Congress? If something might work for the benefit of the citizenry against big corporations, guess who’ll lose everytime with this Congress and administration. They know which side their bread is buttered on.