For Immediate Release !0/25/2017
Capito Cancels Consumers Constitutional Rights
Forgets that Consumers are Citizens, and Banks on Non-Informed WV Voters
On 24 October 2017, (after the WV press had clocked out which is typical of scurrilous votes by our current Congress -ed.), Senator Capito cast the deciding vote to give broad lawsuit immunity to credit card companies, auto lenders, credit reporting companies like Equifax, and many other financial firms. The purpose of this legislation is to legally prevent consumers from filing class action suits against such organizations.
Prior to last night, the only way consumers had to oppose financial institutions accused of wrongdoings is by banding together for Class Action Lawsuits. President Trump is expected to sign this legislation, which will leave consumers essentially powerless against the corporate financial giants.
Senate Democrats all voted to preserve the standing Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rule, as did Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John Kennedy (R-LA). So Capito’s vote truly did make it a 50-50 tie, which automatically threw it it to Vice President Mike Pence, who naturally voted to please his billionaire backers.
Most attorneys will not take cases involving less than $10,000 against a financial agency because the retainers needed are too great and the returns often are too small. Financial agencies know this. So they pushed this bill to negate the rule of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection and revive Big Finance’s “forced arbitration” agreements.
In other words, companies will once again be permitted to refuse to do business with consumers who will not sign away their right to sue the company in a real court.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was the creation of Senator Elizabeth Warren and others during the Obama administration. Her CFPB rule has been a thorn in the side of billionaire predatory institutions ever since.
By voting NAY, Senator Capito could have maintained the last of the checks and balances against excesses of giant financial corporations. But her deciding vote essentially stripped millions of Americans of the protections of the 8th Amendment of the US Constitution, which guarantees citizens the right to “due process,” including a fair and open trial. Instead, financial institution will now select the “arbiter” in any challenge by a consumer.
Thanks to Capito’s crucial vote, decisions of institution-appointed arbiters will not only be final and without appeal, shockingly aggrieved citizens will be sworn to secrecy regarding both the proceedings and decision. Thus her “AYE” also negated citizens’ right to free speech under the 1st Amendment.
For the record, on 25 July 2017, The West Virginia delegation to our US House of Representatives all voted in lockstep to pass HJR 111
David McKinley AYE
Evan Jenkins AYE
Alex X. Mooney AYE
Chair Economic Justice Committee
Mountain Party of West Virginia
16th District State Executive Committee
Comment from Mountain Party Communication Director Tom Rhule:
Capito’s vote wasn’t really surprising, considering the Big Finance institutions that are among the top 20 “contributors” to Capito’s eternally ongoing “campaign.”
According top OpenSecrets.org, they include:
Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Bank of New York Mellon, Discover Financial Services, Citigroup, Metlife, and TCF Financia just name a few
Top 20 contributors to Campaign Committee = download .csv file
When the news of her vote breaks tomorrow across the Mountain State, how many WV journalist will be intrepid enough to press Shelly Capito (R-K Street) on why she chose Big Finance over the rights of consumers? Place your best guess below the webpage found at