Thursday, July 27, 2017

The GOP Ramps Up Their War Against Consumer Protections While Everyone Is Looking At The Horrors Of Trump And TrumpCare


The vote in the House Tuesday evening was 231-190. Every Republican but Walter Jones of North Carolina voted to hamper the ability of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to protect bank customers from the kinds of systemic abuse and predatory behavior that led directly to Bush's Great Recession and destroyed the financial stability of millions of American families. Every single Democrat-- even the worst paid-off Blue Dogs and New Dems-- opposed bankster-pawn Keith Rothfus' bill.

What the Republicans are doing is stripping the rights of consumers to use class action lawsuits to protect themselves from the big banks. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce lobbyists who wrote Rothfus' bill for him, were dancing for joy. They are furious that over 34 million bank customers received $1 billion in payments from lawsuits over the past 5 years and want to destroy the Bureau.

Here in California, several progressive Democrats running for congressional seats alerted voters in their districts that their own congressmen had betrayed their interests once again. The architect of the CFPB was Elizabeth Warren, who noted that the rule the Republicans just voted to repeal "allows working families to hold big banks accountable when they’re cheated and help discourage the kinds of surprise fees that consumers hate." The Orange County candidate who has worked with her on this issues is Katie Porter, who is running for the seat held by rubber stamp Republican Mimi Walters. This issue is part of Porter's field of expertise and we asked her for a reaction last night. This is what she told us:
As the Senate voted to take away health care for millions, Congresswoman Mimi Walters and the House GOP were taking away justice for all consumers. Today, they rewrote the rules in order to protect Wall Street banks that cheat consumers, no matter how outrageous the banks' conduct. "Mandatory predispute arbitration" agreements ban consumers from telling their stories to judges, instead forcing them into an arbitration process that exists only to protect the big banks from being held accountable.

I've fought against arbitration in my decades of work as a consumer advocate. That's a fundamental difference in this race. I have stood up to powerful financial institutions that break the law and hurt families. In Congress, Mimi Walters has done the opposite. She is as consistent of an ally for big banks, as she is for President Trump's agenda. Wall Street banks can count on Walters' support 100% of the time. Our district needs a congresswoman who will stand up to powerful interests, and that's my pledge to Californians.
Ironically, Porter isn't the only stalwart progressive in the CA-45 race who worked on this issue. Kia Hamadanchy worked on the staff of another top Democrat concerned with Republican collusion with Wall Street predators, Sherrod Brown. Hamadanchy told us that "Once again Mimi Walters has put the interests of her donors and those in Wall Street who have ripped off consumers time and time again above the people of Orange County. If this rule is repealed it would mean that a bank like Wells Fargo could avoid being held accountable for its actions despite a clear evidence of a pattern and practice of wrongdoing. Every American deserves their day in court when they are taken advantage of by the financial services industry and its not surprising that Mimi Walters doesn't agree. Time and time again she continues to vote against the interests of her constituents and in November 2018 she is going to see where that gets her."

North of CA-45, we get to Wall Street puppet Ed Royce's congressional district. Since 1990 Royce, who is a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, has taken an astounding $7,116,597 in legalistic bribes from the Financial Sector. The only current members of the House to have taken bigger bribes than Royce are Paul Ryan ($9,781,835) and House Financial Services Committee chairman Jeb Hensarling ($7,468,190). All three should be rotting in prison.

The DCCC is trying to run some qualification-less "ex"-Republican lottery winner and self-funder, Gil Cisneros, against Royce. Fortunately there's an eminently qualified progressive determined to take on Royce instead, Sam Jammal. Yesterday he pointed out that "If you're wronged, Americans believe you should be able to have your day in court. It's a fundamental check on absuses by the most powerful. This apparently doesn't apply to the biggest banks. It's hard to tell who Ed Royce really represents. Common sense would say that consumers should know their rights and have options to preserve those rights. But, if that is upsetting to his big donors, it looks like Ed is perfectly fine forgetting about consumers in Buena Park or small businesses in Walnut. We need our voices heard again in Washington."

No one ever doubted CA-25 Rep, Steve Knight, would vote to repeal the amendment protecting financial consumers. He's perversely dependable in that sense-- the perfect little rubber-stamp for Ryan and Trump. His progressive opponent, Katie Hill told us "This is yet another example of Steve Knight putting special interests-- in this case big banks-- ahead of working Americans. I personally know so many people in the 25th district who have been taken advantage of or harmed by Wall Street in some way or another. This simple rule would give every day people some small protection and a way of banding together to fight back-- but Steve Knight and other Republicans are too concerned with protecting the profits of their own financial backers. We need representatives in Congress who will once again return power to the people."

Some good news in regard to the Republican war against consumer protections-- yesterday Allied Progress launched the CFPB Action Tracker, a new interactive website that tracks, state-by-state, the CFPB's enforcement actions against big banks, credit card companies, and other financial institutions that have preyed on consumers. The website is a great resource for elected officials and organization in the states, allowing them to see what the CFPB has done to benefit local consumers and arming them with important information in the fight to protect the CFPB from attacks by Wall Street special interests and their allies in Congress, like Ed Royce, Paul; Ryan, Jeb Hensarling and Mimi Walters.

Karl Frisch, executive director of Allied Progress: "The Consumer Bureau has played a pivotal role in bringing justice to consumers over the past six years. They have cracked down on big banks, payday lenders, and other financial bad actors and put an end to the irresponsible practices that caused the great recession that cost so many Americans their jobs, their homes, and their savings. Lawmakers in the pockets of big banks have spread misinformation in their efforts to eliminate the Consumer Bureau, but the truth is in the data. Our new interactive Consumer Bureau Action Tracker shows just how much the Bureau has put back into the pockets of Americans. In just six years, the Consumer Bureau has taken $12 billion from predatory financial institutions and returned it to the more than 29 million Americans they ripped off."

The DCCC, of course, is doing nothing about targeting Rothfus and his traditionally blue district (PA-12) north and east of Pittsburgh. The second biggest veterans' district in the country, it was John Murtha's seat forever but has been abandoned to the Republicans by a DCCC eager to woo white collar suburbanites while ignoring the legitimate interests of blue collar workers. Hillary did worse than Obama had both times he ran and she was crushed by Trump, 58.7% to 37.9%. But a progressive veteran who was knocking on doors for Bernie last year, Tom Prigg, has every intention of replacing Rothfus in 2018... running on a progressive platform geared for the people in his district.

This morning Prigg told us that "It's absolutely unacceptable for our Congress to, once again, expose the American people to the unfair banking practices exercised that led to the 2008 housing crash. During that time, America saw the loss of ten million American homes-- that’s five-times more than during the Great Depression. It is bad enough that none of the perpetrators of this crash faced criminal charges; but now our representatives are trying remove any possible class-action litigation to protect the public. The dissolution of this agency is a direct attack on the American public. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in just 5 ½ years of its existence, has awarded five billion dollars in lawsuits against unfair banking practices for twenty-nine million Americans. Not only are those impressive numbers for such a young agency, it’s also a testament to how important this agency is for the American public. It’s this type of irresponsible behavior and special-interest policy making that we can no longer accept. I will never let the American people, and our families, take the fall for irresponsible banking practices like we saw ten years ago. We must vote out politicians who’ll sacrifice the security of American citizens in favor of greed. This is one of the reasons why I’m running against the author of this bill, Keith Rothfus."

Expect to hear more from Tom Prigg here at DWT.

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At 2:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...voted to hamper the ability of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to protect bank customers from the kinds of systemic abuse and predatory behavior that led directly to Bush's Great Recession..."

The recession should be named after the ones who laid the cornerstones, set the table, primed the pump and just got out of the banks' way -- bill fucking Clinton and the democrap congress who passed the likes of GLBA, CFMA et al.

Bush didn't add much to the recipe, though he certainly didn't get in the way either.

And realizing that, it is disingenuous to imply that this is a republican party endeavor here. The only reason the democraps voted against it is because it was sure to pass. And it had to pass cloture at some point... right. That means 8 democraps at least had to vote to send it to the floor for the 51-49 charade.

If the banks really wanted this and it was $hillbillary and a D senate, do you think all the Ds would have said nay? Nope. Scummer, for one, is a rubber stamp for the banks. There are several others. They'd have gotten as many of them as they needed.

Remember 2009-2011? Evan Bayh and Nelson of Nebraska were very reliable Ds voting for cloture and/or to pass shit and/or to neuter shit to the benefit of corporations and billionaires. When the money needed more, they got more.

At 5:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The People won't care until it's too late to do anything about this.


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