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Energy and Commerce Committee Fights to Keep Americans Safe from Price Gougers During COVID-19

May 12, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee Chair Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) applauded the introduction of The Heroes Act in the House of Representatives, which includes their “COVID-19 Price Gouging Prevention Act,” introduced last month.  If enacted, the legislation will protect Americans from price gougers during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

“We introduced the COVID-19 Price Gouging Prevention Act to protect Americans from price gouging during this national emergency.  Now, with this bill included in the broad package released today, we will stand up to predators trying to take advantage of consumers.  The Federal Trade Commission and State attorneys general will be empowered to chase down price gougers and put an end to their egregious actions,” Pallone and Schakowsky said.  “We look forward to this legislation passing the House soon so we can ensure every American has access to essential goods at fair prices during this pandemic.”

This legislation provides the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and State attorneys general the authority to seek civil penalties from individuals and companies engaging in price gouging of goods and services during the COVID-19 emergency.

During this public health emergency, Pallone and Schakowsky believe the FTC and State attorneys general should be given authority to pursue companies and individuals charging outrageous prices for necessary goods and services, such as personal protective equipment, devices, disinfectants and medical supplies.  As consumers buy more and more online during the pandemic, the need for a national cop on the beat grows increasingly important. 

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