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Consumer Reports to Testify at House Hearing on the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Protection Powers

WASHINGTON, DC – Anna Laitin, Director, Financial Fairness and Legislative Strategy for Consumer Reports will testify this afternoon at a hearing held by the House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. The hearing is entitled “The Consumer Protection and Recovery Act: Returning Money to Defrauded Consumers.” 

“This hearing comes at a critical time. Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that the FTC does not have the authority to take ill-gotten profits from fraudsters and return the money to their victims,” says Laitin. “This is an absurd result that would benefit the worst scam artists. Thankfully, this is something Congress can fix. Congress should work quickly to pass the Consumer Protection and Recovery Act which would grant the FTC the authority to pursue fraudulent and deceptive actors and to return money to the people they harmed. ”

Laitin adds, “While this legislation is essential, there are other issues that must be addressed. The FTC is severely lacking in resources to carry out its critical mission of protecting consumers in the modern marketplace. The FTC needs additional authority and funding from Congress to protect consumers from frauds and scams as well as the new and emerging technologies that have introduced complex challenges related to data privacy and security, and algorithmic transparency.”

Consumer Reports joined a coalition of consumer and privacy groups in submitting a letter to the relevant House and Senate committees, expressing support for legislative action to ensure that the FTC has the full range of authority to curb unfair, deceptive, fraudulent and anticompetitive acts and practices.

Anna Laitin leads Consumer Reports’ legislative strategy as well as its efforts to ensure that consumers have access to a safe, transparent, and accountable financial marketplace. Anna previously spent 14 years serving in major staff positions in the U.S. House and Senate where she focused on issues ranging from financial policy to auto safety, and from privacy to federal agency oversight.

The hearing is scheduled for today at 1:00 p.m. ET. For more information, and to view the hearing, you can visit the House Committee on Energy and Commerce website here.