October 31, 2017

Duckworth: Trump Signing “Shameful” Bill to Overturn Arbitration Rule Hurts Veterans and Servicemembers, Breaks Another Campaign Promise


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today criticized President Trump for breaking his campaign promise to support American Veterans and servicemembers after he signed legislation limiting the rights of victims of financial abuse to get their day in court when bad actors - such as Wells Fargo and EquiFax - are negligent or commit fraudulent acts. The bill signed today blocks a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rule that would have prevented these bad actors from forcing Americans into so-called "forced arbitration," which corporations are overwhelmingly likely to win, robbing consumers of their right to sue.

"The President today broke yet another campaign promise - this time it's his promise to support those who wear the uniform and defend this great nation. With the stroke of his pen, the President robbed American Veterans, servicemembers and millions of hard-working families of their right to take bad actors like Wells Fargo and EquiFax to court," said Duckworth. "That means that servicemembers who have been victimized by fraud and abuse by big financial institutions can't pursue justice through the legal system they fought to defend. It's truly shameful. The brave men and women who risk their lives to defend our freedom deserve nothing but support from our nation's leadership - not another broken campaign promise."

The President signed the bill to make it easier for big financial institutions to take advantage of American servicemembers just a week after Duckworth delivered a powerful speech on the Senate floor calling on her colleagues to protect the rights of consumers and servicemembers who are victims of scams, theft, fraud and abuse. During her speech, Duckworth shared examples of Servicemembers who filed lawsuits to hold unscrupulous financial institutions accountable and she reminded her colleagues about the recent outrage Equifax and Wells Fargo provoked by trying to steer consumers they had taken advantage of into arbitration.

Duckworth reiterated her concerns about GOP efforts to hurt American military members by blocking the CFPB's arbitration rule yesterday with representatives from the American Legion and the Union Veterans Council. While many Americans, including millions of Servicemembers, have participated in litigation that have recouped hundreds of millions of dollars from corporations that had defrauded or otherwise abused them, the CFPB found that companies that forced consumers into arbitrations won a whopping 91% of those claims.