On Tuesday, October 24th, the U. S. Senate voted to end a rule that prohibited banks from including language in their contracts that prohibited individuals from filing class action claims against banks.
A class-action lawsuit is when a group of people has suffered the same or similar injuries or financial damages from the same source, and they sue the party responsible as a group.
Because the Senate killed this rule, Americans seeking legal action against banks may be forced to settle things in private arbitration. This potentially reduces the options for a favorable settlement. In addition, this makes it easier for banks that use this language in contracts to get away with actions similar to the events that recently took place during the Wells Fargo debacle where the bank created millions of unauthorized accounts or the Equifax debacle where the corporation attempted to stop Americans from filing a class action after a major security breach.
While no members of the Democratic party voted for this, most of the Republicans did. Every Republican except John Kennedy and Lindsey Graham voted in favor of getting rid of the rule. After the vote was tied 50-50, Vice President Mike Pence gave the final vote to kill the rule.