Politics

American Legion Vets Are Warning Trump About the Terrible Mistake He’s Making

President Donald Trump is getting a stern warning from the largest veterans service organization in the entire United States.

The leaders of the American Legion just issued a statement calling out President Donald Trump’s latest plan to strip away important federal protections for consumers. Veterans advocates are warning that the Trump administration’s proposal will have a negative impact on military members and their families.

“Every servicemember and veteran should have the right and responsibility to confront predatory loan practices,” American Legion National Commander Denise H. Rohan said in a statement. “We will not be silent while banks and payday loan shops rip off servicemembers and veterans.”

Most recently, 51 members of the Senate voted to overturn a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rule on arbitration agreements intended to provide consumers with an opportunity to sue in court when they have been harmed by financial institutions.

Leaders at the American Legion say many financial institutions include mandatory pre-dispute arbitration clauses in financial contracts that bar servicemembers, veterans and others from bringing legal action to court or banding together in class action lawsuits to seek relief under federal or state law. Class action waivers are particularly damaging to servicemembers, who may not be able to challenge a financial institution’s illegal or unfair practices individually due to limited resources, frequent relocation or being deployed overseas.

To express veteran’s strong support of the CFPB rule and opposition to legislative measures to overturn it, The American Legion membership approved Resolution No. 83: Protect Veteran and Servicemember Rights to Fair Consumer Arbitration, at its 2017 National Convention in Reno, Nev. The resolution asserts it is “extremely unfair to bar servicemembers, veterans and other consumers from joining together to enforce statutory and Constitutional protections in court.”

“Our membership has stated unequivocally that we are opposed to situations where our military and veterans’ financial protections are chipped away to increase the profits of the big banks,” Rohan said. “Repealing the CFPB arbitration rule takes away consumers’ most effective tool to protect themselves against predatory lenders.”

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