Four #SubCMT Measures Pass out of the House that will Empower Consumers While Promoting Commerce and Economic Growth
WASHINGTON, DC – Building upon the Energy & Commerce Committee’s #RecordOfSuccess, the U.S. House of Representatives today approved four measures advanced by the Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee to protect jobs and consumers. H.R. 5104, Better Online Ticket Sales Act, and H.R. 5111, the Consumer Review Fairness Act, prioritize the protection of consumers – whether going online to purchase tickets for a live event or their ability to provide an honest review of a company, service or product. H.Res. 847 and H.Res. 835, seek to empower consumers and encourage the government to take advantage of developing technology and innovation.
“I’m proud of the productivity of the Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee. The policies advanced today encourage continued development and adoption of innovative technologies while working to protect consumers online through increased transparency and accountability,” said subcommittee Chairman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX). “These four measures today will support economic growth while ensuring that consumers are safeguarded from deceptive online practices and non-disparagement clauses.”
Both consumer-protection bills today passed the House under suspension and previously passed out of the full committee by voice vote.
- H.R. 5104, Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act of 2016, authored by full committee Vice Chairman Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), would empower the FTC to stop software used to buy up swaths of event tickets over defense measures put in place by ticket sellers. Passed by voice vote.
“Scalpers have been taking unfair advantage of consumers for years through computer hacking software, making it difficult and expensive for many to find or afford tickets to live events. This deceptive practice of buying tickets and drastically marking them up has gone on for too long, and it’s time we put an end to it,” said Vice Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). “This commonsense legislation puts protections in place to prevent this manipulation while keeping live events affordable to fans everywhere.”
- H.R. 5111, the Consumer Review Fairness Act, authored by Vice Chairman Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ), prohibit gag clauses preventing consumers from publishing truthful reviews and authorize the FTC and states to enforce the Act with civil penalties. Passed by voice vote.
“In the 21st Century, consumers have come to depend upon online reviews and ratings when making informed decisions about which business or services to purchase,” said Vice Chairman Leonard Lance (R-NJ). “Today’s legislation is about allowing consumers to exercise their First Amendment rights. They should be able to post or provide comments online regarding their experience with a product, business or service without fear of retribution.”
Also passing the House were two resolutions that aim to boost commerce, increase business and empower consumers.
- H.Res. 847, authored by Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ), expresses the sense of the House of Representatives about a national strategy for the Internet of Things to promote economic growth and consumer empowerment. Passed 367-4-1
- H.Res. 835, authored by Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill), expresses the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States should adopt a national policy for technology to promote consumers’ access to financial tools and online commerce that promote economic growth and consumer empowerment.. Passed 385-4-1.