March 24, 2020

Neguse Helps Secure Provision to Protect Consumers From Price Gouging in the Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act

Washington D.C.—Representatives Joe Neguse, David Cicilline (RI-01), and Jerry Nadler (NY-10) have successfully secured inclusion of a provision in the Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act to protect consumers from price gouging during the COVID-19 crisis. The provision gives the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general the authority to seek civil penalties from individuals and companies engaging in price gouging of goods and servicesincluding food, personal hygiene products, medical supplies, healthcare, cleaning and delivery services.

“The extensive price gouging we have seen in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic concerns a number of us in Congress,” said Representative Neguse. “We must make statutory changes to federal law to prevent the terrible price gouging and protect consumers across America. No one should be exploiting this crisis for their own personal profit.”

“For the duration of a public health emergency,” states the included provision, “it shall be unlawful for any person to sell or offer for sale a good or service at a price that (1) is unconscionably excessive; and (2) indicates the seller is using the circumstances related to such public health emergency to increase prices unreasonably.”

Last week, Representative Neguse sent a letter to Attorney General Barr requesting action from the Department of Justice to address extensive price gouging. Read the letter here.  

See Representative Neguse discuss price gouging on MSNBC.

The Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act was introduced by House Leadership yesterday and builds on H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, enacted into law on March 18, and on the $8.3 billion emergency spending package enacted into law on March 6. 

The text of the Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act, H.R. 6379, is here. A summary of H.R. 6379 is here. A one pager on key details of the legislation is here.