116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
American consumers were victims of deceptive advertising and consumer fraud to the tune of $3.3 billion last year, nearly double from 2019, according to the Federal Trade Commission. There are myriad examples of consumer fraud, from online sellers that set up phony stores, to established and well-known global companies embroiled in schemes to defraud consumers.
This past summer, the Consumer Protection and Recovery Act was introduced in Congress. The bill allows the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to seek monetary damages in federal courts from businesses that engage in unlawful practices such as false advertising, consumer fraud, and anti-competitive conduct. It strengthens protections for consumers and gives the FTC the resources needed to go after businesses that are found guilty.
While the common-sense bill passed in the House of Representatives with bipartisan support, Reps. Randy Feenstra, Ashley Hinson and Mariannette Miller-Meeks — all Iowa Republicans — voted against it. Why? A lack of “due process” for businesses that are guilty of defrauding consumers. What they fail to recognize is that a thorough investigation is done when a business is suspected of fraudulent practices. This is standard procedure and protocol.
It’s clear the three Republicans didn’t do their own due process by seeking input from the 3,493 Iowans who were victims of consumer fraud last year. Sadly, the three simply placed their own political self-interests above protecting hardworking Iowans from potential financial ruin.