Johnson Praises Obama Administration, Agencies for Pro-Consumer Rules

November 1, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On October 27, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted rules to protect consumers’ privacy for information collected by broadband Internet Service Providers (ISPs). The final rules require greater choice, transparency, and security protection for this information. In a statement in support of the rule, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler stated that the FCC has also initiated an internal process to begin the rulemaking process to “address the harmful impacts of mandatory arbitration requirements on consumers of communications services.” On October 28, the Department of Education (DOE) adopted a final rule to protect students from predatory loan terms that block student borrowers’ access to the courts in claims against institutions. As adopted, the final rule prohibits the use of pre-dispute “forced” arbitration agreements in student loans.

U .S. Representative Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr., (GA-04), the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee of Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law of the House Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement in response to separate rules issued last week by the Department of Education and Federal Communications Commission to protect consumers:

“Under the leadership of the Obama Administration, agencies have worked tirelessly to protect consumers and to hold accountable wrongdoers through an open justice system,” Johnson stated. “Secretary John King of the Department of Education and Chairman Tom Wheeler of the Federal Communications Commission deserve high praise for their fight on behalf of consumers.   

“I also thank FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn for her calls to end forced arbitration through FCC rulemakings. As Commissioner Clyburn thoughtfully stated, ‘Mandatory arbitration, put simply, forces consumers with grievances against a company, out of the court system, and into a private dispute resolution system.’ I wholly agree.”

Rep. Johnson is the sponsor of H.R. 2087, the Arbitration Fairness Act, which would prohibit forced arbitration agreement clauses in consumer, civil rights, antitrust, and non-bargained employee agreements. Johnson has also championed efforts to increase privacy, security, and choice in the app marketplace. He has introduced H.R. 4517, the Application Privacy, Protection and Security (APPS) Act of 2016, a bill to increase consumer privacy on mobile devices; and H.R. 4516, the Data Broker Accountability and Transparency (DATA) Act of 2016, which would prohibit data brokers from using consumer data deceptively, empowering consumers to access and correct information, and opt-out of data use for marketing purposes.

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