U.S. PIRG Latest Blog Posts

 | by
Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

We're supporting regulatory changes proposed by the Federal Reserve to clarify that certain debit card routing practices by banks are "inconsistent" with the 2010 Durbin amendment's requirement that merchants be given at least two routing choices unaffiliated with the Visa or Mastercard payment networks. Choices are pro-competition and pro-innovation and would lower costs to merchants and, ultimately, prices to consumers.  And isn't "inconsistent" perhaps another way to say "against the law?"

Cover graphic by frankieleon via Flickr, some rights reserved

 | by
Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

President Biden's recent Executive Order on promoting competition in the economy includes several specific recommendations on improving competition in the financial sector. It proposes that the CFPB give consumers more choices by giving them control of their financial data. It proposes that regulators strengthen oversight of bank mergers, which for years have been routinely rubber-stamped. While it doesn't specifically address the payment system oligopoly that raises the prices everyone pays, lowering swipe fees is also a logical outcome of the EO.

Cover photo of the Marriner Eccles Federal Reserve Building, Washington, DC by Rafael Saldaña via Flickr, Some Rights Reserved.

 | by
Patricia Kelmar
Director, Health Care Campaigns

How in-network childbirth still exposes new families to out-of-network bills

 | by
Patricia Kelmar
Director, Health Care Campaigns

 

New consumer tool helps families searching for quality facilities

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Mike Litt
Director, Campaign to Defend the Consumer Bureau

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau celebrated its 10th birthday last Wednesday. It begins its second decade refocused on its mission of protecting you and me after a few years of, ironically, championing shady business practices over consumers. The agency’s first decade was full of success, setbacks, and promise.

"The FCC is done asking nicely or urging or begging phone companies to fight robocall."

 | by
Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Today, the U.S. House takes a key vote. HR2668, the Consumer Protection and Recovery Act, would restore the FTC's Section 13(b) authority to hold wrongdoers accountable and compensate consumer-victims harmed by their actions. The Supreme Court had recently ruled that the power, used for over 40 years to recover billions, was not clearly articulated in law.

Cover photo via Flickr by Mr. Blue MauMau, some rights reserved.

 | by
Matt Casale
Director, Environment Campaigns

Congress is working to finalize a new infrastructure spending package. But why are they ignoring an easy way to pay for it?