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Maybe Issue One

Protecting Arkansas Families

Senate Votes to Nix CFPB's Arbitration Rule

US Senate Votes to Repeal Consumer Rights Protection in a 51-50 Vote

The U.S. Senate voted last Tuesday night to overturn a banking rule that allows consumers to bring class action lawsuits against bank and credit card companies to resolve financial disputes. (H. J. Res. 111). The rule, published in July by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), barred companies from using forced arbitration clauses to strip consumers of the right to join class actions to hold law-breaking financial institutions accountable for the harm and loss they have caused.

Critics say Republicans and Trump are siding with Wall Street over Main Street and the shift will block consumers from joining together against the like of Wells Fargo and Equifax. Numerous consumer, labor, military, academic, and civil rights organizations, strongly supported the CFPB rule and fought hard and long to preserve its existence.  

The Congressional Review Act (CRA) allows Congress to repeal regulations issued by government agencies with a simple majority vote. The House of Representatives previously used this simple majority vote rule to pass the resolution (H. J. Res 111) to overturn the Consumer Protection rule. Mike Pence broke the 50-50, after both Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) And Sen John Kennedy (R-La) broke with party ranks and voted to oppose overturning the rule.

The rollback of this Rule banning restrictive mandatory arbitration clauses found in the small print of credit card and checking account agreements takes away any power consumers had to effectively fight big banks and financial companies. Consumers will now be forced to give it up or go it alone usually over small amounts while companies are able to sidestep the court system, avoid big refunds, and continue harmful practices.

Bureau Director Richard Cordray said it represented "a giant setback for every consumer in this country. Wall Street won and ordinary people lost."

This is just another example of the effort by Wall Street to attack the 7th Amendment - Right to a Jury Trial. Your Arkansas Legislature seeks to do the same thing and take over your right to a trial by jury, and make the rules on who gets to sue and for how much. It caps the value of human life. It’s name? SJR8. Apparently, according to the latest word from the Chamber’s spokespersons, the Legislature will call this Issue 1 on your November, 2018 ballot.

Remember that Issue 1 is a NO vote in November 2018.. NO to Wall Street. NO to the Legislature for trying to place a limit on the value of human life. NO to government overreach.

David Williams