Congress Actually Passed Consumer-Friendly Legislation In 2007

Members of Congress introduced 7,440 bills this year and almost none of them help consumers in any meaningful way. Less than fifteen bills this session snagged our editorial love. Most cleared only one chamber, and some still haven’t earned a hearing—but maybe when Congress returns they’ll lob a few of our favorites towards Pennsylvania Ave.

H.R. 3010: Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007
What It Does: Prevents corporations from shackling consumers with extra-judicial mandatory binding arbitration agreements.
Status: Hearings held in both the House and Senate.

H.R. 2881: The Passengers Bill Of Rights
What It Does: Prevents airlines from caging passengers on planes for hours at a stretch without access to food, water, and restrooms.
Status:Approved by the House as part of the FAA Reauthorization Act, 267-151-14. Currently simmering in the Senate.

H.R. 3610: Food and Drug Import Safety Act of 2007
What It Does: Strengthens the FDA by granting the power to issue mandatory recalls.
Status: Hearings held in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

H.R. 3541: Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007
What It Does: Makes Do Not Call List registrations permanent.
Status: Approved by the House. Floor debate pending in the Senate.

H.R. 1525: Internet Spyware (I-SPY) Prevention Act of 2007
What It Does: Subjects spyware makers to jail terms and multi-million dollar fines.
Status: Approved by the House, languishing in the Senate.

S. 2045: CPSC Reform Act of 2007
What It Does: Gives the CPSC the staff and support it needs to do a slightly less pitiful job.
Status: Passed by the Senate Commerce Committee. Companion legislation unanimously approved by the House.

S. 2033: Cell Phone Consumer Empowerment Act of 2007
What It Does: It’s the most impressive bill of the 110th Congress. It battles dragons and slays evildoers.
Status: Hearing held in the Senate Commerce Committee.

H.R. 4332: Financial Consumer Hotline Act of 2007
What It Does: Establishes a consumer hotline for banking complaints.
Status: Introduced, stuck in the House Financial Services Committee.

H.R. 3915: Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act of 2007
What It Does: Attempts to prevent a recurrence of the subprime meltdown by tightening oversight of the mortgage industry.
Status: Approved by the House 297-127-14. The Senate Banking Committee is slow-mulling companion legislation.

H.R. 3678: Internet Tax Freedom Act Amendments Act of 2007
What It Does: Keeps the internet nice and tax-free until 2014.
Status: Signed by the President! Now known as Public Law No: 110-108.

H.R. 946: Consumer Overdraft Protection Fair Practices Act
What It Does: Caps overly-punitive debit card fees.
Status: Introduced, stuck in the House Financial Services Committee.

S. 704: Truth in Caller ID Act of 2007
What It Does: Bans caller ID spoofing.
Status: Approved by the House. Passed the Senate Commerce Committee.

H.R. 698: Industrial Bank Holding Company Act of 2007
What It Does: Bans Walmart from opening a bank.
Status: Approved by the House 371-16-45, dead in the Senate Banking Committee.

H.R. 2669: College Cost Reduction and Access Act
What It Does: Steals money from rich student loan companies and gives it to students.
Status: Signed by the President! Now known as Public Law No: 110-84.