A Message from Consumer Action

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Coalition Efforts

Consumer Action is working on these important issues along with other organizations. If you would like to know more about these issues, please see “More Information” at the end of each article.

 

Postings

The time is now for a FAMILY bill to be passed
There’s never been more national and state-level attention to America’s need for paid family and medical leave. A record number of members of Congress have voiced support for a shared vision for what a real national paid leave plan looks like–one that covers parental, family care, personal medical and military families’ needs with adequate, sustainable funding and meaningful.

Advocates tackle data-driven discrimination
Big Data has the potential to create racial and social inequalities, and make existing discrimination even worse. While civil rights protections have existed in brick-and-mortar commerce for decades, they are largely missing from the internet economy. Online services should not be permitted to use consumer data to discriminate against protected classes or deny them opportunities in commerce, housing, employment, or full participation in our democracy.

Protect consumers, not pyramid-scheme businesses
Consumer Action joined advocates in urging the co-sponsors of the 2018 Anti Pyramid Promotional Scheme Act to refrain from reintroducing the bill in the 116th Congress. If this bill were to become law, it would eliminate the Federal Trade Commission’s authority to take action against all but the most blatant pyramid schemes, leaving millions of consumers vulnerable to fraud.

How the government shutdown puts working families at risk
As the longest federal government shutdown in our nation’s history drags on, advocates raised concern as to how working families could potentially be harmed long after the government reopens its doors. Without a paycheck, federal employees fear losing their homes, consider risky financial loans in lieu of income, tax credits and refunds, and worry about the lasting impact that missed bill payments will have on their credit.

The 116th Congress should put students at the top of their agenda
Consumer Action joined 49 advocate groups in urging members of Congress to work toward a Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization bill. The HEA bill should broaden opportunities for students, including low-income students and students of color, and increase accountability to protect students, families and taxpayers from low-quality and unscrupulous colleges.

Department of Education urged to extend loan discharge period for scammed students
In the wake of sudden closures of both Education Corporation of America (ECA) and Vatterott Education Holdings, advocates wrote to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to express concern that over 25,000 students are being given incomplete, incorrect, and harmful information about their options for closed school discharge and information on transfer options. Advocates recommend important steps the Department can take so that students can immediately explore their options and understand what resources might be available to them in the wake of their school’s closure, including extending the window to discharge their student loans.

More could be done by the CFPB to stop harassment from debt collectors
Nearly 75 advocate groups joined together in urging the new CFPB director, Kathy Kraninger, to implement stronger rules that protect the 71 million adults in the United States with debt from abusive and harassing debt collection practices.

Kathy Kraninger is shockingly unqualified to lead the CFPB
Despite the nominee having no related experience or qualifications, the Senate voted in a lame duck session to confirm Kathy Kraninger as the next director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Advocates urged the Senate to oppose Kraninger for lack of finance, banking regulation, or consumer protection experience, as well as for her central role in administering the inhumane and un-American policy of separating thousands of children from their parents along the southwest border. Kraninger was later approved by Senate in a partisan 50-49 vote, with all Democrats opposing her nomination.

Groups renew call for no poison pill policy riders
Consumer Action is among nearly 50 groups renewing their call to keep spending measures free of poison pill policy riders. Unpopular, unnecessary, partisan provisions that get tacked on in secret have nothing to do with government funding and everything to do with undermining essential programs in order to fill a special interest wish list. Poison pill policy riders also stand in stark contrast to emergency needs that are going unmet, like guarding consumers from scams and corporate wrongdoing, securing our air, land, water and wildlife, and defending our campaign finance and election systems.

National comparison data for colleges erased
In reaction to the Education Department’s latest update to the college comparison tool, College Scorecard, consumer, higher education, and student advocates wrote to Secretary Betsy DeVos urging her to reinstate key outcome metrics that provide critical statistics for would-be students, and transparent accountability measures for the individual schools.

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