Senate votes to nullify rule letting consumers band together to sue banks or credit card companies

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has voted to nullify a consumer-oriented rule that would let millions of Americans band together to sue their banks or credit card companies.

Vice President Mike Pence has cast the tie-breaking vote to stop the rule from going into effect.

Many consumers must go through an arbitrator to resolve financial disputes, but the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finalized a rule that bans most types of mandatory arbitration clauses.

The rule exposed banks to large class-action lawsuits. Supporters say that possibility would help ensure banks, credit card companies and other lenders treat consumers appropriately.

The vote comes months after House action and reflects the effort of the Trump administration and congressional Republicans to undo regulations that the GOP argues harm the free market.

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