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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Delayed CFPB/Other Wall Street Reform Rollbacks Happening Today On House Floor | Ed Mierzwinski

Last month the House canceled floor consideration of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill. FSGG is back on the floor today and tomorrow. We urge support of amendments to protect the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) but, since they won't pass, we urge a no vote on the bill. Here's an updated excerpt from my previous blog.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Court Rejects PIRG-Opposed Swipe Fee Settlement With Visa/Mastercard | Ed Mierzwinski

Today, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit threw out a preliminary $7.25 billion settlement between Visa and Mastercard and any merchant accepting credit cards (including U.S. PIRG), ruling that despite that seemingly massive payment for past practices that the settlement gave inadequate relief to merchants going forward, as it essentially immunized the networks for any future illegal conduct while providing mostly illusory benefits. Since we accept credit cards from our members, we, joined by Consumer Reports, had formally objected to the settlement as consumer advocates who also happen to be merchant class members (most merchant associations also objected).

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

House Launches Frenzy of Attacks on CFPB, Public Protections | Ed Mierzwinski

Today and tomorrow the House floor showcases a variety of special-interest backed bills designed to eliminate public protections and weaken financial reform. Action starts soon with an attempt to override the President's veto of legislation to wipe away a new Department of Labor rule designed to protect hard-earned retirement savings from Wall Streeters seeking their "share" of your own share. Then, the House will consider the massive FSGG Appropriations bill, which rolls back the independence and authority of the CFPB and other financial reforms. Finally, they've teed up a bill to eliminate the Supreme Court's long-standing "Chevron doctrine," which says that courts must defer to expert agencies in certain circumstances. Without the doctrine in place, polluters and wrongdoers will have more opportunities to challenge public protections.

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Blog Post | Transportation

Clean Transportation Doesn’t Need To Be A Distant Utopia | John Olivieri

For many, when they think of combating global warming, they think of solar panels on rooftops and eliminating coal fired power plants. But, the truth is, there is not an effective solution to address global warming that does not deal with transportation as well.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Consumer Protection

Joint Statement Opposing Exceptions to CFPB Payday Rule

We've joined 10 other leading consumer, community, religious and civil rights organizations to oppose exemptions to a strong CFPB payday and auto title lending rule and to reiterate our opposition to an exception that has already been considered and rejected that would allow lenders to make longer-term installment loans without considering a borrower’s ability to repay so long as the payment did not exceed five percent of a borrowers’ income.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Financial Reform

Bailout Briefing #5: Death, Taxes and TARP

"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." So wrote Benjamin Franklin. 

If he were here today, Franklin might be surprised to see how some of the largest federal bailout recipients are coming dangerously close to disproving his adage. They are defying insolvency and avoiding taxes, at the same time and on the taxpayer’s dime. 

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Democracy

Modernizing Our Voter Registration System Could Eliminate Millions in Wasteful Spending

A new U.S. PIRG Education Fund study estimated that over $33,467,910.00 of public money from 100 counties was spent on simple registration implementation and error-correction issues in 2008.  

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News Release | Consumer Protection

Washington, D.C.: Chemical Threat Persists in Food and Beverage Packaging

Fourteen of the largest public packaged food and beverage companies still use the controversial chemical bisphenol A (BPA) in their packaging, according to a new report by two investor groups. Studies have linked the synthetic sex hormone to developmental problems, heart disease and diabetes.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Health Care

Health Care Reforms Could Save Over $299 Billion

As Congress starts work on a health reform bill, a new publication from citizen advocacy group U.S. PIRG identifies a path to lower costs, not by cutting care, but by delivering better, more efficient care.

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