New bills for protecting consumers

New bills for protecting consumers

In testimony before Congress today, the Federal Trade Commission presented its views on 17 bills Congress is currently considering with respect to the agency’s jurisdiction and operations.

Chairwoman Edith Ramirez testified on behalf of the Commission. The testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade addressed the proposed bills within the framework of the agency’s overall mandate – protecting consumers and competition in an ever-changing marketplace through targeted law enforcement, research, a dedicated staff, and a commitment to bipartisanship and cooperation.

While generally expressing support for several bills, the testimony noted that other proposed measures may unintentionally hamper the agency’s ability to continue to fulfill its dual consumer protection and competition missions.

In particular, the testimony stated that the FTC supports two House bills, which, if enacted, would repeal certain exemptions to the FTC Act, allowing the agency to act more broadly to ensure consistent application of the law across economic sectors. One of the bills would eliminate the FTC Act exemption for telecommunications common carriers, while another would put charitable, religious, educational and other nonprofit organizations under the Commission’s enforcement jurisdiction.

The testimony stated that the FTC remains committed to working with Congress to find ways to enhance its effectiveness in accomplishing its mission in a constantly evolving marketplace.

The Commission vote approving the testimony and its inclusion in the formal record was 3-0.

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