Pallone & Schakowsky on House Passage of Legislation Restoring FTC’s 13(b) Consumer Protection Powers
Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee Chair Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) released the following joint statement today after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2668, the Consumer Protection and Recovery Act, to restore the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) section 13(b) consumer protection powers:
“Today the House took decisive action to restore the FTC’s authority to help return money to consumers and businesses that have been defrauded by scammers. Congressional action is necessary following the Supreme Court’s April ruling that undermined the agency’s longstanding consumer protection powers.
“The Consumer Protection and Recovery Act will restore the FTC’s ability to force scammers that have broken the law to repay those who have been harmed or defrauded. We commend Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee Vice Chair Cárdenas for his leadership on this legislation. It’s now time for the Senate to act so that we can restore this critical FTC authority that has protected consumers for more than 40 years.”
H.R. 2668, the "Consumer Protection and Recovery Act," was introduced by Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) and is cosponsored by every Democrat on the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee, where Cárdenas serves as the Vice Chair. The bill would amend section 13(b) of the Federal Trade Commission Act to provide the FTC with express authority to obtain both injunctive and equitable monetary relief for all violations of those laws it enforces. The bill would add a new subsection (e) to section 13 of the FTC Act that specifies types of equitable relief the FTC may pursue: restitution for losses, contract reformation and recission, money refunds, and the return of property. The new subsection (e) also provides the FTC disgorgement authority to seek court orders requiring bad actors repay unjust gains acquired in violation of law. The bill would also provide that the FTC may seek temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions without bond and that any relief sought under section 13(b) may be for past violations in addition to ongoing and imminent violations. The bill was passed on the House Floor by a vote of 221-205.