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Republicans Moving to Repeal Financial Rule Opposed by Banks - ABI

Targeting government regulations, the Republican-led House on voted to nullify a rule that would let consumers join together to sue their banks or credit card companies rather than use an arbitrator to resolve a dispute, The Associated Press reported yesterday. The repeal resolution passed by a vote of 231-190. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finalized the rule just two weeks ago. It bans most type of mandatory arbitration clauses, which are often found in the fine print of contracts governing the terms of millions of credit card and checking accounts. Republican lawmakers, cheered on by the banking sector and other leading business groups, wasted no time seeking to undo the rule before it goes into effect next year. They'll succeed if they can get a simple majority of both chambers of Congress to approve the legislation and President Donald Trump to sign it. The numbers are likely on their side, just as they were earlier this year when Republicans led efforts to upend 14 Obama-era rules. GOP lawmakers described the rule as a bad deal for consumers but a big win for trial lawyers. They said the average payout for participants in a class-action lawsuit was just $32 in the financial disputes the consumer bureau studied. "How is that pro-consumer?" asked Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-Pa.). Meanwhile, Rothfus said the average payout for the attorneys in the class-action cases amounted to nearly $1 million. Democratic lawmakers fought to keep the rule. They said they're not opposed to arbitration. It just shouldn't be the only option consumers have.

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