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

A push for regulatory leadership that is unimpeachably independent
Donald Trump ran on "draining the swamp" of corruption in Washington, DC. Yet, as president, he is working to install a revolving-door government run by representatives of the big businesses our government is supposed to be regulating. In a letter to the Democratic Senate leadership, coalition advocates remind senators that the need for public minded watchdogs has never been greater. The American people deserve voices on a diverse collection of independent agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission, that are independent of excessive corporate influence.

Advocates urge ED to remain tough on fraudulent colleges
Advocates working on behalf of consumers, students, civil rights, veterans and servicemembers penned a letter to Education Secretary Betsy Devos, urging her to continue implementing and enforcing critical Education Department accountability provisions designed to protect students and taxpayers from unmanageable student debt and waste, fraud and abuse in higher education. In particular, we oppose all actions to delay, weaken, or repeal the gainful employment, incentive compensation, or recent “borrower defense to repayment” and college accountability regulations.

US Postal Service advocates call for an end to CPI price cap
The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) is reviewing the effects of the current rate system, capped by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), to see how it impacts the Postal Service's ability to meet the objectives stated in the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. The coalition’s recommendations included eliminating the CPI cap, which places financial pressures on the Postal Service, putting the agency at risk. It holds back the necessary infrastructure changes, needed capital investments and the ability for the USPS to fix safety and health issues – such as replacing an outdated fleet of vehicles. It also strangles the USPS' ability to restore and protect good postal services.

Will Judge Gorsuch uphold a consumer’s right to a civil trial by jury?
Coalition advocates penned a letter to Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) urging the Senator to question Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, regarding whether he will uphold the entire Constitution, including the Seventh Amendment, which guarantees consumers a right to a civil trial by jury. This is especially important for consumers who have been victimized or defrauded by big businesses. If nominee Gorsuch fails to fully commit to preserving Seventh Amendment protections, the coalition urges Sen. Feinstein to oppose his nomination.

Republicans want to kill FCC’s consumer privacy protections
In an attempt to reverse the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) landmark internet privacy rules, the FCC’s new republican chairman, Ajit Pai, will hear comments on petitions for the Commission to suspend and ultimately rescind new privacy rules from broadband providers like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast. The rule would have required these internet service providers to take more stringent steps to protect consumers' personal data. Privacy advocates, including Consumer Action, denounce the attempt to weaken the rule, arguing that consumers’ information will be more vulnerable to breaches and unauthorized use. As it stands, the rule will provide vital consumer privacy protections that will help ensure consumers have choice, transparency, and security.

Children’s advocates oppose attempts to revoke internet privacy rules
Consumer Action and a coalition of children's advocates have filed a comment opposing petitions that ask the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to revoke its broadband privacy rules. The coalition urged the FCC to retain rules that treat children's data, web browsing histories, and app usage data as sensitive and to retain opt-in requirements for all categories of sensitive information. Advocates previously urged the FCC to establish comprehensive safeguards for consumer privacy, to ban pay-for-privacy schemes, and to prohibit mandatory arbitration.

Congress moves to punish malpractice victims using ACA and Medicaid benefits
Malpractice kills as many 400,000 people a year, making it the third leading cause of death in the United States, and is responsible for ten times as many injuries. Yet instead of enhancing patient safety, the House Republicans aim to impose severe limits on medical malpractice lawsuits with H.R. 1215 – a move that would both prevent victims from receiving appropriate compensation and make the malpractice problem worse, by lessening the deterrent effect of litigation.

Requiring mobile passwords is a direct assault on fundamental rights
The new Department of Homeland Security proposal that requires non-citizens disclose their social media passwords and frequently visited websites would enable border officials to invade people’s privacy by examining years of private emails, texts, and messages. It would expose travelers and everyone in their social networks, including potentially millions of U.S. citizens, to excessive, unjustified scrutiny. Consumer and privacy advocates joined together in a letter to the Department of Homeland Security to condemn this invasive proposal. Not only does this requirement fail to increase the security of U.S. citizens, it’s a direct assault on their fundamental rights and sets a horrible global precedent.

FACT Act punishes nation’s heroes, denies them support they deserve
As the House is poised to vote on a bill that would delay or deny justice for asbestos victims, the so-called FACT Act (H.R. 906), organizations representing the nation’s veterans, firefighters, emergency responders and teachers - populations who are most at risk from exposure to the deadly substance - have come out strong in opposition.

The CFPB: A champion for student loan borrowers too
Since 2012, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has continually defended student loan borrowers against some of the biggest players in the for-profit college and student loan industries. While fraud and mismanagement issues run rampant in student lending, the CFPB has worked hard to protect veterans, students and their families against some of the biggest offenders, including Sallie Mae, Navient, Corinthian and Bridgepoint Education.

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