Financial Reform Bill Passes Senate, 60-39

Financial Reform Bill Passes Senate, 60-39

Two weeks after finally getting through the House of Representatives in a heavily edited form, the financial reform bill was passed by the Senate earlier today by a vote of 60-39. [More]

Financial Reform Bill Blocked Again

Financial Reform Bill Blocked Again

It’s deja vu all over again: For the second day in a row, Republicans blocked debate on the financial reform bill. Once more, the vote was 57-41. And, once more, Democrat Ben Nelson of Nebraska broke ranks and voted with Republicans against the bill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to bring the bill up for a vote again tomorrow. [More]

Financial Reform Bill Stalls In Senate

Financial Reform Bill Stalls In Senate

With a 57-41 vote, Senate Republicans blocked debate over the White House-supported financial reform bill. The Democrats needed a 60-vote “supermajority” to avoid a Republican filibuster threat. Democrats plan to reintroduce the bill as early as tomorrow. [More]

Consumer Financial Protection Agency On The Chopping Block

Consumer Financial Protection Agency On The Chopping Block

According to the Wall Street Journal, Senator Chris Dodd, a Democrat from Connecticut, has offered to abandon the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) proposal in exchange for Republican support on other legislation. Nobody is saying anything official right now, but the WSJ reports that “the offer is conditional on the creation of a stronger consumer protection division within another federal agency.” [More]

Senate Passes Health Care Reform Bill

Senate Passes Health Care Reform Bill

In case you missed it, Senate Democrats managed to succeed at their goal of pushing through some sort of health care reform bill before Christmas Day–the chamber voted this morning 60-39 along party lines and passed the bill. Up next: the Senate and House have to get together and negotiate some final version. If you want to compare what’s in the House and Senate versions, the New York Times has put together an excellent side-by-side comparison tool.

Senate Concerned About Buy.com's Aggressive Webloyalty Checkout Hardsell

Senate Concerned About Buy.com's Aggressive Webloyalty Checkout Hardsell

Before you can finish your purchase at Buy.com, you have to go through an entire page trying to upsell you to the much-maligned Webloyalty program and click the tiny “no thanks” button at the bottom. You can find it located under the large YES! button. [More]

Senate Introduces Bill To Rein In Early Termination Fees

Senate Introduces Bill To Rein In Early Termination Fees

Yesterday, four senators introduced legislation to make cell phone early termination fees be actually related to the cost of the phone. [More]

Senate Trying To Give FDA More Power

Senate Trying To Give FDA More Power

Last week the Senate cooked up a Scooby Snack for the FDA. The Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee unanimously approved a bill that will make the FDA run around all hyper and bestow it with super strength and ghost-catching ability, the LA. Times reports, though not in those words. [More]

Lexapro's Marketing Plan Shows How Drug Maker Pushes New Drugs

Lexapro's Marketing Plan Shows How Drug Maker Pushes New Drugs

The Senate just released 88 pages of a confidential 270+ page marketing plan by Forest Laboratories, created in 2004 and focused on how to get doctors to prescribe the antidepressant Lexapro over similar but cheaper alternatives such as Celexa. The New York Times notes that the line between marketing and education seems to be heavily blurred, which may not surprise you. There are, however, two interesting notes for consumers who may be taking Lexapro.

Senate $2 Billion Approves Cash For Clunkers Extension

Senate $2 Billion Approves Cash For Clunkers Extension

The Senate has approved $2 billion in additional funding for the CARS or Cash for Clunkers program. Of course, the perennial buzzkills at Consumer Reports Cars had to find a downside to the program’s continuation.

Airline Passengers Bill Of Rights Lurches Down Congressional Runway

Airline Passengers Bill Of Rights Lurches Down Congressional Runway

Tomorrow, a Senate committee will hold a hearing on legislation that grants passengers the right to deplane if their plane is delayed on the runway for more than 3 hours. The legislation will also require that airlines provide water, food, and bathroom facilities during delays. If passed, it will be ignored by Delta.

Radio Shack Is Levying The Wrong Sales Tax In New York City

Radio Shack Is Levying The Wrong Sales Tax In New York City

Radio Shack is charging New York City consumers an extra half-percent of sales tax, even though the State hasn’t approved a new tax rate. Before descending into a chaotic mess of embarrassing inaction, the New York State Senate was widely expected to hike the sales tax New York City’s local sales from 8.375% to 8.875%. That never happened, a minor detail that isn’t stopping Radio Shack from collecting more tax, as reader Jeff discovered…

http://consumerist.com/2009/06/16/idk-y-txts-r/

idk y txts r so $$. Consumers Union‘s Joel Kelsey says what all already knew—text messages are way overpriced—only he got to say it during testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights. [Consumer Reports Electronics]

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.

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.

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.

Senators Introduce Bill To Ban Text Message Spam

Senators Introduce Bill To Ban Text Message Spam

Senators Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, and Bill Nelson, D-Florida, have introduced the m-SPAM Act, which would update the CAN-SPAM law to include text message spam. “The m-SPAM Act would explicitly bar marketers from sending text messages to any mobile number in the national Do-Not-Call registry maintained by the FTC,” reports InternetNews.

After Decade-Long Delay, House Tells FDA To Regulate Tobacco

After Decade-Long Delay, House Tells FDA To Regulate Tobacco

The House this week voted to empower the FDA to regulate tobacco, just in case people still smoke even after new taxes push the cost of cigarettes to over $9 per pack and the recession bankrupts everyone. Under the measure, which passed 298-112, the FDA would be able to set nicotine levels, control cigarette advertising, and require companies to provide a full list of cigarette ingredients. As usual, the killjoys in the Senate may force the House to smoke a light version of the cigarette bill…