President Recently Signs E&C Bills to Allow Consumers Fair Access to Buy Tickets, Ensure Integrity of Online Reviews, and Boost Outdoor Recreation
WASHINGTON, DC – Although the 114th Congress is winding down, the Energy and Commerce Committee continues to build on its bipartisan #RecordOfSuccess as President Obama recently signed three #SubCMT bills into law. The bipartisan bills signed into law were S. 3183, the Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act, H.R. 5111, the Consumer Review Fairness Act, and H.R. 4665, the Outdoor REC Act of 2016.
- S. 3183, the Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act of 2016, spearheaded by Energy and Commerce Committee Vice Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), empowers the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to stop scalpers from buying swaths of event tickets by going around defense measures put in place to prevent bulk purchases. The House-version of this legislation, H.R. 5104, passed the House by voice vote in September and again in December.
“This is a win for all fans of live entertainment and sporting events, plus it brings an extra Christmas cheer from our touring artists in the Nashville area. It’s about time we put an end to these anti-consumer tactics. I applaud my colleagues in the House and Senate for passing this legislation as well as President Obama for signing it into law,” said Vice Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).
- H.R. 5111, the Consumer Review Fairness Act, authored by Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee Vice Chairman Leonard Lance (R-NJ), prohibits gag clauses that prevent consumers from publishing truthful reviews and authorizes the FTC, and states, to enforce the Act with civil penalties. H.R. 5111 passed the House by voice vote in September and unanimously passed the Senate.
“Two more great bills are now law – each protecting consumers. In the 21st century economy consumers need to be able to exercise their First Amendment rights without concern that a business will take them to court over it. The online rating and experience portal must be preserved for all consumers. And I’m happy the President also signed the BOTS Act into law, which will crack down on the cyber bots that round up concert tickets, jack up the price and rip off fans. These bills are a fitting capstone to a very productive Congress for the subcommittee,” said Vice Chairman for Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Leonard Lance (R-NJ).
Full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) added, “It’s no secret that 21st century consumers have encountered new problems and challenges brought about by innovation, but because of Representatives Blackburn and Lance, consumers are now better protected and more empowered. Many have experienced difficulty purchasing tickets to a live event while others have faced retribution for simply going online to provide an honest review of a company, service or product but these laws put an end to these underhanded practices. These bills are smart policy, assuring online transparency and affordability for consumers.”
Also signed by the president, was H.R. 4665, the Outdoor REC Act of 2016, authored by Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), which directs the Department of Commerce to conduct an assessment and analysis of the outdoor recreation economy to ensure that it is measured and accounted for by the federal government as part of the country’s GDP.
“The outdoor recreation industry has greatly contributed to economic growth and success in Southwest Michigan,” commented Chairman Upton. “This bipartisan bill is important to maximizing business opportunities in the outdoor recreation industry, and I’m pleased to see it added to our proud bipartisan Record of Success.”
Learn more about the Energy and Commerce Committee’s #RecordOfSuccess HERE.