President Biden wants Americans to know, after the harrowing collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, that their local banks are safe places to keep their money. Biden also wants to emphasize that, because of his administration, Americans should have a little bit more money to keep in those banks.
My Administration is cracking down on “junk” fees that companies use to make you pay more.— President Biden (@POTUS) March 14, 2023
And since I called on Congress to pass the Junk Fee Prevention Act, some states have started taking their own action.
Others should follow suit so American families can breathe easier.
Biden is drawing attention to his Junk Fee Prevention Act, meant to crack down obscure surcharges commonly attached to bills consumers receive. The Junk Fee Prevention Act puts pressure on companies to be transparent about what they really charge for goods and services, instead of practicing a virtual bait-and-switch on pricing, where the quoted price and the final bill don’t align.
In his latest tweet on the subject, Biden reports that some states are acting independently to curtail the practice. It’s a bipartisan undertaking — there is no constituency in America that wants to pay more fees.
Vermont Senate Minority Leader, Republican Randy Brock, joined the proceedings below, as did New York State Senator James Skoufis, a Democrat.
The White House issued guidelines for state attorneys general wanting to root out this practice, assuring that every state attorney general has the authority to “enforce certain Federal consumer financial laws, such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) prohibition on unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices.”
Biden mentioned the Junk Fee Prevention Act plan during the State of the Union address, when he aimed his ire at hotels adding surprise charges, cable and internet companies padding bills, airline price chicanery, exorbitant bank overdraft fees and credit card late fees.
The Biden administration says that the true cost of such pricing obfuscation is not only the pain it causes consumers directly, but also indirectly, as the practice “stifles competition by encouraging companies to use increasingly sophisticated tools to disguise the true price” that consumers will ultimately pay.