Comprehensive Food Safety Reform Moves Forward In Congress

Comprehensive Food Safety Reform Moves Forward In Congress

The House Energy and Commerce Committee just approved comprehensive food safety reform, setting it up for consideration on the House floor in the coming months. The Food Safety Enhancement Act was approved by voice vote, indicating bipartisan support and suggesting a relatively smooth passage through the entire House.

Obama To Call For Financial Watchdog Agency

Obama To Call For Financial Watchdog Agency

Tomorrow, President Obama is expected to call for the creation of a new watchdog agency that would help protect consumers from abusive credit card, mortgage, banking practices. The banking industry is not happy about the idea, reports CNN. But hey, they’re just looking out for us: “It’s bad for consumers,” a banking industry lobbyist told the network. Oh, well, never mind then, and pass me some more delicious subprime!

Are Cellphone Exclusivity Deals Bad For Consumers?

Are Cellphone Exclusivity Deals Bad For Consumers?

Yesterday, four U.S. Senators sent a letter to FCC acting chairman Michael Copps requesting an investigation into whether exclusivity deals between handset makers and national carriers are ultimately good for consumers, and they plan to hold a hearing on the issue on Wednesday, June 16th. They join a growing number of people and organizations, including the Rural Cellular Association (RCA), who say exclusivity deals benefit no one but the carriers and manufacturers.

National Menu Labeling Law Moves Closer To Reality

National Menu Labeling Law Moves Closer To Reality

As states continue to adopt laws requiring chain restaurants to include nutritional information on menus, Congress has been considering proposals for a national menu-labeling law. This week, members of Congress, the restaurant industry, and consumer groups reached agreement on a proposal that they hope to introduce this summer.

Congress Considers Partially Removing Tax Exemption On Employer Provided Health Benefits

Congress Considers Partially Removing Tax Exemption On Employer Provided Health Benefits

While details of such an approach are still sketchy, it would likely involve employees paying tax on a percentage of their employer-provided health benefits. So if Congress decided that all such premiums in excess of $11,000 for family plans would be taxable income, and your company paid premiums worth $16,000 for your coverage, you’d have to pay taxes on $5,000.

Your Member Of Congress Can Help Renegotiate Your Mortgage

Your Member Of Congress Can Help Renegotiate Your Mortgage

If your bank isn’t willing to renegotiate your mortgage, see if your Member of Congress can’t give them a little push. Maxine Waters (D-CA) rings up the C.E.O.s of Bank of America and Wells Fargo on her constituents’ behalf, while Elijah Cummings (D-MD) hired a staffer who’s helping more than 120 constituents avoid foreclosure.

Are You A Deadbeat? Suddenly You're Attractive To Card Companies Again

Are You A Deadbeat? Suddenly You're Attractive To Card Companies Again

“Revolvers”—customers who keep a revolving balance on their credit cards—used to be the cash crop for credit card companies. But now more and more of them are turning into expensive charge-offs, and the new CARD act is going to make it harder to acquire those riskier customers anyway. As a result, card companies are beginning to look more closely at the customer who was most hated back in the credit-orgy years: the deadbeat.

The FDA Isn't Yet Sure How To Make Our Food Safer But Lots Of Cash Might Help

The FDA Isn't Yet Sure How To Make Our Food Safer But Lots Of Cash Might Help

The FDA is set to receive $3.2 billion next year but they don’t yet have a plan to make our food any safer. That doesn’t sit well with Congressional appropriator Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), who at a recent hearing told Acting FDA Commissioner Joshua Sharfstein: “A lot sounds to me like buzzwords from a past administration.”

Here's How The CARD Act Will Actually Change Credit Cards

Here's How The CARD Act Will Actually Change Credit Cards

Bob Sullivan at MSNBC—who coincidentally was one of the speakers at our event last night—has published a list of myths and facts about the new credit card bill. His article dispels some of the misinformation that’s out there right now about just what the act does, and what card companies are going to do in retaliation.

Menu Labeling Controversy Reaches Congress

Menu Labeling Controversy Reaches Congress

California and New York City already require chains to display calorie counts alongside menu items, but if two Members of Congress have their way, menu labeling legislation will soon apply to chains and fast food restaurants throughout the nation. The Menu Education and Labeling (MEAL) Act introduced by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) would go even farther than existing state and local regulations by requiring chains to disclose fat, carbohydrate and salt content on their printed menus. The food industry, of course, is supporting a more palatable bill with an equally snappy acronym…

Get Informed About Credit Card Reform

Get Informed About Credit Card Reform

As we prepare to talk credit card reform with the Obama folks, we want to make sure you’re all able to follow along at home. Inside, we present a cornucopia of fact sheets, charts, and links about the fight for credit card reform.

Congressman Mike Doyle Is Pretty Much Done With These Auto Warranty Calls

Congressman Mike Doyle Is Pretty Much Done With These Auto Warranty Calls

Our favorite congressman, Mike Doyle (D-PA), is also fed up with the robocalls telling him his car warranty is about to expire. For those keeping track, that’s two elected officials that these robocalllers have illegally called recently. If the internet doesn’t take them out first, hopefully our public servants will. Thanks, Kenneth!

Forced Arbitration: You Can't Sue Us For Discrimination

Forced Arbitration: You Can't Sue Us For Discrimination

Besides banning forced arbitration in consumer and franchise contracts, the Arbitration Fairness Act bans mandatory binding arbitration clauses in employment contracts. John’s story illustrates why this is necessary, inside.

House To Pass Credit Card Reform, Tell The Senate To, Too

House To Pass Credit Card Reform, Tell The Senate To, Too

The House is expected to pass the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act today, and the Senate is considering similar legislation. The Senate battle will be harder, but you can help!

"We Build In Middle Class Neighborhoods Because You Can't Afford To Fight Us"

"We Build In Middle Class Neighborhoods Because You Can't Afford To Fight Us"

Meet Michelle. We met Michelle at Arbitration Fairness Day and she told us about being forced into arbitration when she tried to get her poorly constructed home repaired. Now she’d like to share her story with you.

Forced Arbitration: You Lose, Now Pay For Our Lunch

Forced Arbitration: You Lose, Now Pay For Our Lunch

Mandatory binding arbitration, which corporations use to dodge accountability for their discrimination, negligence, or harassment, is a caricature of justice that offers no protection to consumers or employees. It’s also terrible for small business owners, as one couple found out.

Forced Arbitration: As Fair As A Sucker Punch

Forced Arbitration: As Fair As A Sucker Punch

We at Consumerist really hate mandatory binding arbitration, the faux-legal sucker punch that companies deliver when they screw up and you try to sue, and so should you. We’ve talked about its evils a lot, but no one can describe this legal abomination as well as the victims themselves, so this week we’ll let them speak.

Legislation To Protect Consumers From Crappy Credit Card Practices Moves Forward

Legislation To Protect Consumers From Crappy Credit Card Practices Moves Forward

The Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights is back in the news, and with Congress considering the legislation, we offer a refresher on what’s in this bill and why it’s important.