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

10 years after Great Recession, Senate considers Dodd-Frank rollbacks
Crapo (R-ID) introduced a bill that takes aim at Dodd-Frank Act protections for consumers and the ability to monitor big banks to prevent another financial meltdown. The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (S 2155) would put consumers at greater risk of predatory lending and weaken other important safeguards passed since the last crisis. Consumer Action joined advocates in a March 8 letter asked that the legislation be given full floor consideration as a separate bill and an open amendment process.

PROSPER Act puts for-profit schools' interests ahead of students and taxpayers
In a Feb. 23 letter to Congress, Consumer Action and its allies working for fairness for student borrowers reiterated support for higher-education safeguards, including the gainful employment rule to ensure for-profit schools actually prepare students for real jobs; the borrower defense rule to protect student borrowers when their schools go bust; the 90-10 rule limiting the number of students using the GI Bill at specific schools; and the ban on incentive compensation, commissions for-profit school recruiters who often cross ethical lines when signing up students. These four commonsense regulatory measures—which Consumer Action supports and has written much about—should be present in any bill that targets higher education in the future. However, the groups note in their letter that the PROSPER Act (HR 4508) seeks to weaken or gut these protections, leaving students and taxpayers susceptible to for-profit school fraud.

Bill would block competition and choice in the contact lens market in Kentucky
Consumer Action joined the National Taxpayers Union in a letter to members of the Kentucky State Senate opposing legislation (HB 191) that would restrict the right of state residents to renew contact lens or glasses prescriptions online.

Protect employees by ending forced arbitration in the workplace
Consumer Action joined advocates in calling on the leaders of the tech industry’s biggest companies, including Apple, Google and Facebook, to remove forced arbitration provisions in employee contracts and take the first steps toward creating a harassment- and discrimination-free environment. While forced arbitration provisions are now common in many types of consumer contracts, forcing an employee into arbitration is equally harmful because of its ability to silence systemic wrongdoing in the workplace.

SAFE Lending Act protects working families from cycle of debt
In an effort to end predatory lending practices, both online and offline, that are leaving many Americans trapped in a cycle of debt, Consumer Action and advocates support and encourage U.S. senators to co-sponsor the Stopping Abuse and Fraud in Electronic, or SAFE, Lending Act (S. 2760). Introduced by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), the bill aims to curb predatory lending practices and promote financial stability among working families.

Congress to gut key provision of Americans with Disabilities Act
The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) is a landmark piece of bipartisan legislation that affirms and protects the civil rights of disabled people. A new bill, The ADA Education and Reform Act (H.R. 620), introduced by Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), would make it harder for people with disabilities to hold businesses accountable for inaccessibility. The proposed legislation was recently adopted in the House Judiciary Committee and specifically takes on a section of the ADA that gives disabled people the right to sue public businesses (including restaurants, hotels, and movie theaters) that don’t comply with the ADA’s accessibility requirements.

Policy riders are a shady attempt at regulating CFPB
Friends of Wall Street and the banking industry in Congress want to remove the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from under the Federal Reserve System where it is currently housed and funded. Instead, they want to relegate it to the appropriations process in hopes of sabotaging its independence—a key element in overseeing the consumer finance markets.

Aviation and passenger advocates oppose air traffic control privatization
Consumer Action joined aviation and passenger advocates renewed opposition to an air traffic control takeover by big airlines following a massive American Airlines holiday travel glitch.

Third-party ticket websites may be harming consumers
Consumer Action joined others in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission pointing to ticket-selling websites that appear to be misrepresenting their affiliation with official box offices, price-gouging and causing consumer confusion.

Oppose a Washington State ban on telemedicine vision checks and prescription renewals
Consumer Action joined Americans for Vision Care Innovation in a letter to Washington State legislators in opposition to any state bans on "ocular telemedicine"—online vision tests that are useful for eyewear prescription renewals.

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