From: The Honorable Keith Ellison
Sent By:
samantha.waxman@mail.house.gov

Bill: H.R. 5485
Date: 7/6/2016

Allow the CFPB to Regulate Forced Arbitration

Support the Ellison-Johnson Amendment

Dear Colleague,

Please support the Ellison-Johnson Amendment, which strikes Section 506 from the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act of 2017 (H.R. 5485).

Section 506 is yet another attempt to restrict the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB’s) ability to protect Americans from mandatory pre-dispute (“forced”) arbitration agreements in financial service contracts. Last month, the CFPB proposed a rule to
ensure that corporations cannot prohibit consumers from having their day in court through forced arbitration. The CFPB notes that
forced arbitration clauses “can generally block lawsuits from proceeding in court” and “typically bar consumers from bringing group claims through the arbitration process.” In its Statement
of Administration Policy
, the Obama Administration has threatened to veto this bill, stating that section 506 is a “problematic, ideological” provision that will “undermine key consumer protections.”

Under the Dodd-Frank Act, Congress expressly authorized the CFPB to first study the use of forced arbitration, and then prohibit or limit the use of forced arbitration agreements in consumer financial products or services. In March 2015, the CFPB issued
a seminal report finding that forced arbitration agreements restrict consumers’ access to relief in disputes involving financial
services and products. Based on this exhaustive study, the CFPB must be free to regulate forced arbitration clauses in financial contracts and give consumers a meaningful choice after disputes arise, as Congress has statutorily required.

Too many Americans feel that the rules are rigged against them, and the CFPB has just begun to level the playing field. It must be allowed to use all the tools it has available to protect consumers.

For more information, contact Samantha Waxman at Samantha.Waxman@mail.house.gov or at 5-4755 or Slade Bond at 5-6906 or Slade.Bond@mail.house.gov.

Sincerely,

/s/

Keith Ellison                                       Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr.
Member of Congress                           Member of Congress