Brown condemns GOP vote to repeal banking rule

Published 8:33 am Thursday, October 26, 2017

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, criticized the Senate’s Republican majority and Vice President Mike Pence Tuesday night, after a banking rule was repealed that would let consumers band together to sue bank and credit card companies as a means to resolve financial disputes.

The rule from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was rolled back after a 50-50 vote late in the night, in which Pence broke the tie.

All 46 Democrats and two independents voted against the repeal, joined by Republicans Lindsay Graham of South Carolina and John Kennedy of Louisiana.

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“So who does forced arbitration help? Wall Street banks and other huge corporations that never pay the price for cheating working people,” Brown said of the Republican effort.

He cited the recent data breach at Equifax and its impact on Ohioans.

“Just last week, they sent a representative to testify in front of the Banking Committee, and he said he still thinks it is appropriate for Equifax and the other credit bureaus to use forced arbitration clauses that prevent the Americans they’ve hurt from having their day in court,” Brown said. “Even after the huge harm that Equifax has caused 145 million Americans — including 5 million Ohioans — they still defend their use of forced arbitration clauses.”

Brown had sharp words for Pence, who arrived at the chamber to break the tie.

“The vice president shows up in this body when the rich and powerful need him,” Brown said. “I guess Wells Fargo and Equifax will win tonight.”

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was established in 2010, as a response to the financial crisis of 2008, through passage of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama.