WASHINGTON, DC – Soon after the Biden administration announced two major new initiatives this week cracking down on junk fees, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other trade groups representing banks and industries that abuse the practice predictably denounced the effort. Anti-CFPB MAGA lawmakers Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) and Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), who previously claimed “junk fees don’t exist, okay,” took the Chamber’s cue and rushed to defend junk fees on behalf of their industry contributors. A review from government watchdog Accountable.US found Luetkemeyer and Barr have taken a combined $401,500 from the same trade groups chiding the administration’s hugely popular efforts that will save everyday families billions of dollars.
The MAGA House may be in total disarray picking a Speaker that will satisfy the far-right-fringe, but Reps. Luetkemeyer and Barr still made time to shill for their industry donors that leach billions from families through junk fees. For someone who claims junk fees don’t even exist, Rep. Luetkemeyer sure goes out of his way to make excuses for excessive, hidden charges that American families struggle with every day. There’s a reason why Wall Street lackeys in Congress like Luetkemeyer and Barr want the Supreme Court to strip the CFPB of its independence: so they can defund the agency that keeps industry in line when they nickel and dime consumers," said Accountable.US’ Liz Zelnick, the group behind the ‘Defend American Consumers’ campaign.
While Acting Speaker Patrick McHenry and fellow House Financial Services Committee members Barr and Luetkemeyer have gone to the mat in defense of greedy and abusive junk fee practices, the CFPB’s efforts are already delivering for everyday Americans: Bounced check fees are down more than 86% since 2021—saving consumers nearly $2 billion; banking fees are down more than $5 billion annually compared to pre-pandemic; and the CFPB has already secured $140 million in consumer refunds from companies that charged illegal junk fees, like surprise overdraft fees.
MORE FROM ACCOUNTABLE.US:
- Anti-CFPB Rep. Andy Barr Admits Congress Already Controls CFPB’s Funding
- Junk Fee-Abusing Industries Already Spent $1.7M Lobbying Against ‘Junk Fee Prevention Act’
- What the Financial Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know About Their Abusive Junk Fees.
- Analysis: Financial Industry’s Rhetoric On Credit Card Junk Fees Distorts Costly Reality For Consumers