DATE: Monday, March 4, 2024

TO: Interested Parties

FROM: Accountable.US Executive Director Tony Carrk

SUBJECT: For SOTU, Biden Stands with American Families By Lowering Costs and Cracking Down On Corporate Price-Gouging

 In his State of the Union address this week, President Biden is expected to outline an economic agenda that puts American families, consumers, and workers first. While there has been much progress, costs remain too high for too many people. Unfortunately, corporate executives and Republican Members of Congress are doing everything to stand in the way of enacting an agenda that would lower costs, from prescription drugs to hidden junk fees.

The President has shown that he is on the side of consumers and American families: he is fighting big drug companies and passed the Inflation Reduction Act to allow Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices for seniors; he is fighting big financial companies by cracking down on hidden fees and by calling out corporate greed in industries, particularly the food industry, where executives keep prices too high. This agenda lowers costs.

Accountable.US has rigorously documented opponents of the Biden Administration’s efforts to lower costs for Americans across the economy:


  • PhRMA gave half a million to election denying fringe right groups.

A report from government watchdog Accountable.US recently revealed that Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America’s (PhRMA)—which has spent millions to combat the Inflation Reduction Act’s Medicare drug negotiation provisions—gave $530,000 in donations to right-wing fringe groups intimately involved with the Heritage Foundation’s 2025 Presidential Transition Project, Project 2025, according to the group’s most recent IRS 990 filing.

Project 2025 advisory board members—including FreedomWorks, American Commitment, ALEC and others—have fought against expanded voter access, while often parroting the Big Lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

  • PhRMA donated millions to industry groups who have spoken out against Medicare negotiation in an effort to ban the cost-lowering measure. 

According to a new report from Accountable.US, in 2022, PhRMA funneled $16.1 million to industry groups that spoke out against Medicare’s new negotiation power—including donations to several conservative organizations like The Heritage Foundation and Washington Legal Foundation. 

Several of the groups received a majority or almost all of their revenue from PhRMA, including Incubate, a healthcare venture capital advocacy group founded in 2019 to challenge Democrats’ healthcare reforms, which received $715,000 from PhRMA in 2022. This makes up almost 100% of Incubate’s revenue—the group seemingly does not disclose this financial connection on their website.

  • When PhRMA isn’t lobbying against provisions or funding right-wing groups’ efforts to malign the Inflation Reduction Act, they are suing the Biden Administration in courts across the country.

PhRMA sued the Biden Administration’s Inflation Reduction Act because they couldn’t get their way after spending millions lobbying against it. That case was tossed out because PhRMA did not have standing. 

PhRMA members are currently engaged in six other court cases challenging the Medicare price negotiation within the Inflation Reduction Act.


  • Megabanks raked in $2.3 billion in overdraft revenue as the CFPB unveiled fee crackdown.

Accountable.US found that in 2023 alone, the 10 megabanks that still charge overdraft fees made over $2.3 billion in overdraft revenue, which is why the CFPB proposed rulemaking on overdraft fees is more important than ever. 

  • While the Biden Administration works to cap credit card late fees, House Republicans are out of touch. One member, Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, even said, “junk fees don’t exist.

An Accountable.US review found that top congressional Republicans who vigorously defend the practice of excessive overdraft and late penalties have taken millions of dollars from the same industries that abuse them


  •  Big food continues to rake in massive profits while price gouging American families.

In just one glaring example of corporate greed needlessly raising costs on Americans, Walmart—the largest U.S. grocery chain controlling 25% of the domestic market—hiked prices on its “Great Value” food brands while seeing its net income climb by 44% in its 2024 fiscal year, as it rewarded its shareholders with $8.9 billion through a combination of share buybacks and cash dividends. 

Kraft Heinzmaker of popular food brands Stove Top and Kraft Mac and Cheese—rewarded its shareholders with over $1.9 billion in dividends and $455 million in stock buybacks as the food maker raked in over $2.8 billion in profits in 2023, a 20% increase from 2022.

  • Corporate landlords continue to nickel & dime renters across the country

Last year, Accountable.US found that the six largest companies represented in the multifamily and single-family rental industry, including AvalonBay Communities Inc and Mid-America Apartment Communities, reaped $4.3 billion in net income in FY 2022—over $1.3 billion more than the previous year—as they imposed double-digit rent increases, charged excessive fees, and engaged in “abusive tactics” to evict tenants. 

In 2022, Accountable.US documented similar greedy practices by Camden Property Trust and Equity Residential. 



back to top