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

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.

Mnuchin unfit to serve as Treasury Secretary—Senate should oppose nomination
88 advocacy groups signed a letter to the Senate voicing grave concerns about President Trump’s nominee for Treasury Secretary, former Goldman Sachs partner and OneWest Bank Chairman, Steve Mnuchin. Mnuchin, known as “The Foreclosure King,” oversaw the eviction of nearly 50,000 families from their homes during the foreclosure crisis. The bank’s aggressive foreclosure practices targeted the country’s vulnerable populations—particularly the elderly  and widowed. By approving his nomination, the Senate is putting its stamp of approval on his alarming record and choosing to rig the rules for the wealthy rather than protect American families.

Hands off the CFPB!
Advocates penned a very clear response to Delaware’s Senator Tom Carper’s stated interest in exploring changes to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) structure: “Back off!” The CFPB has been wildly successful at protecting American consumers and weakening the agency’s oversight would be a grave mistake. The only reason to do so would be to favor the banking and financial industries that jeopardized the world economy and devastated American families less than a decade ago.

The ‘Foreclosure King’ is an unfit choice to run the U.S. Treasury
President-Elect Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, is unfit to serve in one of government’s most important positions. Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs partner and hedge fund operator who has never held public office before, earned the nickname the “Foreclusre King” due to unethical practices he oversaw during the housing crisis while owner of OneWest Bank. Over the past decade, this country has seen the disastrous economic results of policies that permit the wealthiest and most powerful institutions and individuals in our society to engage in predatory financial practices that devastate ordinary American families. Government cannot afford to cater to the wealthiest special interests and the Senate should oppose a nominee with Mnuchin’s record.

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