Yesterday, both chambers of Congress disregarded the best interests of consumers in votes on financial protections and healthcare. In a move that put Wall Street interests ahead of consumer needs, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve a resolution under the Congressional Review Act that would repeal a new rule just issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on July 10 to restrict banks and lenders’ use of forced arbitration -- fine-print clauses in contracts for credit cards, bank accounts, and other financial products that prevent people from banding together to hold banks and lenders accountable in class action lawsuits when they break the law.
"We are disappointed that the U.S. House sided with big banks over consumers, veterans and military servicemembers who are prevented from having their day in court as a result of forced arbitration and class action bans in fine-print contracts for financial services and loan products," said Liz Coyle, Executive Director of Georgia Watch. The House resolution passed despite broad public support for the CFPB rule from over three hundred consumer, labor, civil rights, and community groups, as well as the Military Coalition, representing 5.5 million members of the uniformed services. Georgia Watch thanks the members of the Georgia delegation that voted against this resolution: Rep. David Scott (D-13th), Rep. John Lewis (D-5th), Rep. Hank Johnson (D-4th), Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-2nd). The resolution must now go to the U.S. Senate for a vote.
Also yesterday in the U.S. Senate, Georgia Senators Johnny Isakson (R) and David Perdue (R) voted "yes" on a Motion to Proceed with debate on legislation that would repeal the Affordable Care Act in full or in part despite the fact that millions could lose their coverage. There is still time to persuade Senators Isakson and Perdue to vote against any bill that:
- results in coverage losses for thousands of Georgians;
- cuts and caps Georgia's Medicaid program;
- guts protections for people with pre-existing conditions; or
- makes health coverage less affordable for low- and middle-income Georgians.
Senators Isakson and Perdue need to hear from you NOW because ALL of the healthcare bills currently being considered by Congress would be harmful to Georgians. Call Sen. Isakson today at 202-224-3643 or 770-661-0999. Call Sen. Perdue today at 202-224-3521 or 404-865-0087.