Senator Fetterman Partners with Senator Casey to Tackle Price Gouging in 2024

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Pennsylvania U.S. Senator John Fetterman this week announced he has teamed up with Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and seven other Senate colleagues to introduce the Price Gouging Prevention Act of 2024. The bill, spearheaded by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), seeks to curb corporate price gouging by equipping the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and state attorneys general with the authority to prohibit sellers from charging grossly excessive prices.

Price gouging, a term often used during times of crisis, refers to the practice of raising prices to unfair levels, often on necessities such as food, gas, or medicine. It’s an issue that has gained prominence amid the economic turbulence caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“For too long, corporations have gotten away with jacking up prices to line their shareholders’ pockets with the hard-earned dollars of working Americans,” said Senator Fetterman. “This bill will put an end to that.”

The legislation, if passed, would require public companies to disclose any changes in their pricing and explain the reasoning behind these changes in their Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings during periods of “exceptional market shock.” This level of transparency could help hold corporations accountable for questionable pricing practices and protect consumers from arbitrary price hikes.

Another key feature of the proposed act is its focus on safeguarding small and local businesses who raise prices in good faith. This provision recognizes that not all price increases are exploitative and allows for necessary adjustments in response to fluctuations in supply and demand or increased operating costs.

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While the Biden Administration has made strides in reducing inflation and lowering costs for working families, including bringing gas prices below $3 a gallon in several states, the cost of basic necessities like groceries remains high. This discrepancy is believed to be attributed, at least in part, to big corporations taking advantage of the situation to gouge consumers.

The introduction of the Price Gouging Prevention Act aims to represent a significant step in the fight against corporate price gouging. By empowering regulatory bodies and demanding transparency from public companies, the bill seeks to create a more equitable marketplace where consumers are protected, and fair pricing is the norm.

The implications of this legislation could be far-reaching. If successful, it could ease financial burdens on families, contribute to economic stability, and foster greater trust in market fairness. In Pennsylvania and beyond, this bill represents a firm commitment to protect everyday consumers from the detrimental effects of corporate price gouging.

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